Honey roast breast of duck with puy lentils fondantpotato and blackcurrant sauce – by Adam Longden

11 September 2006
Honey roast breast of duck with puy lentils fondantpotato and blackcurrant sauce – by Adam Longden


(serves four)

For the fondant potato
4 large baking potatoes
200g butter
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
225ml water
Salt and pepper
Sprig of thyme and rosemary
1tsp turmeric

For the sauce
250g frozen blackcurrants
150ml cassis
500ml demi-glace made with a good stock
Knob of butter

For the lentils
225g puy lentils
Sprig rosemary
Sprig thyme
1 garlic clove peeled
1 bayleaf
800ml chicken or vegetable stock
Knob of butter
2 rashers of bacon thinly sliced into lardons
40g celery diced
50g shallots diced
40g carrot diced
Salt and pepper
4 large duck breasts
1 level dsp crushed black peppercorns
1tsp coarse salt
6dsp clear honey


First prepare the fondant potato. Peel the potatoes and slice both long sides so the potatoes lie flat and using a 2in cutter cut four cylinders. Melt half the butter in a flat heavy-bottomed ovenproof pan. Add the potatoes shallot and garlic and fry for two minutes.

Add water salt pepper herbs and turmeric and simmer until half the water has evaporated. Turn the potatoes over carefully with a spatula and add the remaining butter. Cook for about 15 minutes or until nearly all the water has evaporated then transfer to the oven and cook at 200ºC for 30 minutes until crispy on the bottom and soft in the middle.

To make the sauce put 225g of the frozen blackcurrants and the cassis into a saucepan and reduce by a third. Add the demi-glace and reduce by half. Blend then pass through a sieve return to the pan season and set aside.

To prepare the lentils wash thoroughly and sift through for grit or small stones. Put in a pan with the rosemary thyme garlic bay leaf and enough stock to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Keep covering with stock until it is all absorbed then remove the garlic and herbs. Melt the butter in a separate pan and sweat the bacon celery shallots and carrots until soft. Stir this mixture into the lentils warm through and season to taste.

Score the skin of the duck breasts and rub black pepper and salt into the incisions. Fry skin side down for one minute then turn over and paint the skins liberally with the honey. Turn over again and caramelise the honey then turn again and fry for a further two minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook at 220ºC for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Reheat the fondant potatoes puy lentils and sauce just before serving. Add a chilled knob of butter to the blackcurrant sauce and stir in. To serve place the puy lentils in a ring on the plates and press down. Place the fondant potato at the top of the plates and pour the sauce around. Slice the duck breasts and fan on top of the lentils.

Adam Longden

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