2 mallard breasts
A knob of butter
For the sauce
150ml chicken stock
2 tbsp smooth cranberry sauce
1 tsp honey
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the lentils
200g dried Puy lentils
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 stick of celery, finely diced
2 rashers of bacon, chopped into small pieces
2 tsp powdered vegetable bouillon or salt to taste
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Heat some olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion, carrot and celery until soft.
Add the bacon and cook for a further couple of minutes until cooked through. Towards the end of this time add the garlic and cook for a minute.
Add the lentils and water, bring to a simmer and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, then stir in the bouillon powder or salt to taste.
Cook for a further 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked but retain some bite.
Score the skin of the mallard in a crisscross pattern but don’t cut the flesh.
Place the mallard in a cold, dry pan and cook on a medium heat until the fat starts to bubble out of the skin. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes until browned.
Turn the breasts and add a knob of butter to the pan. Cook for a further 3 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Mallard should be served pink and is cooked when springy to the touch and (if you have a meat thermometer) it has reached 52C internally.
Remove the mallard and keep warm. Add the sauce ingredients to the pan and stir until you have smooth sauce. Season to taste.
Stir parsley into the lentils and heat through if they’ve cooled too much while cooking the duck.
Serve the duck with the Puy lentils and the sauce.