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February 03, 2015
By cask2 in the All category.

Valentine’s Recipe: Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Barbecued Lentils and Rhubarb Chutney

Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Barbecued Lentils and Rhubarb Chutney

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Serves 6

Rhubarb Chutney

2 cups sliced rhubarb (sliced on bias at 45 degree angle)

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

Coarse salt, to taste

3 sprigs thyme

2 fresh bay leaves

Barbecued Lentils

Barbecue Gastrique, about 6 tablespoons (page 234)

3 cups lentils (Beluga or French)

4 ½ cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup finely diced yellow onion

½ cup finely diced carrots

¼ cup finely diced celery

Coarse salt, to taste


6 (6 ounce) duck breasts

Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper

6 sprigs thyme

4 fresh bay leaves

6 cloves garlic, smashed

Make chutney

1. Combine all ingredients in a large, nonreactive pot over medium-high heat.

2. Bring to a boil and cook until rhubarb is broken down and jammy, about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Set aside and serve at room temperature. Remove thyme and bay leaves before serving

Make lentils

1. Combine lentils and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. (Cooking time will depend on kind of lentil.) Set aside.

2. While lentils are cooking, heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat and slowly cook onion, carrot, and celery until tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and cool.

3. Fold together cooked lentils, vegetables and barbecue gastrigue; set aside and keep warm.

Make duck

1. With point of a sharp knife, score fat of duck breasts in crosshatch pattern, being careful not to pierce flesh of meat. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a well-seasons skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat for 1 minute. When the pan is hot, add duck breasts, skin side down. Use a pan that is large enough to avoid crowding or sear in two batches. Keep heat low to render fat slowly, to produce evenly crisp skin. Sear about 10 to 12 minutes.

3. As skin becomes evenly crisp, turn the breast over and finish cooking by basting the skin side with hot fat. Add thyme, bay leaves, and garlic and continue to baste about 3 to 4 minutes.


1. Place about ½ cup of warm lentils on each plate.

2. Slide duck at a 45-degree angle into ¼ inch strips (properly cooked duck should reassemble medium-rare steak).

3. Arrange duck on warm lentils with a spoonful of chutney on top.

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