This fantastic whole duck recipe with lentils is perfect for impressing guests:

SERVES 6
The richness of the roast duck and the earthiness of green lentils combine wonderfully in this stylish dish, and the intense flavours go well with the smooth Pinot Noir Familia Schroeder Saurus Select 2010 £12.95
Ingredients
  • 2 whole ducks
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • a few basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
For the green lentils
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 70g pancetta, chopped
  • 4 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 100ml Marsala wine
  • 400g Puy or Castelluccio lentils
  • 1litre chicken stock
  • 2tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/ Gas 7. Place the ducks in a roasting tin and pierce their skins all over with a sharp knife. In a bowl, mix the herbs with the oil, 1tbsp salt, lemon zest and juice and garlic. Spread the paste over the ducks, massaging it in with your fingers. Then put the ducks in the oven to roast. After 30 minutes, remove the ducks from the oven and drain off the excess fat. Do this periodically during the total cooking (2 hours).

Remove the ducks from the oven and set them aside in a warm place to rest for 20 minutes. For the green lentils, heat the oil in a sauté pan until hot. Add the fennel, pancetta and shallots and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the Marsala and cook for another 3 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the lentils in the chicken stock for 20-25 minutes until tender. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then spoon them onto the fennel and pancetta mixture. Warm through, scatter on the parsley and tomatoes, then serve alongside the roast duck. This beautiful whole duck recipe with lentils will go down a treat.

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