200 mlhot strong black tea150 gmpitted prunes8duck Marylands1 eachonion, carrot and celery stalk, diced2garlic cloves, finely chopped500 mlfull-bodied red wine400 mlveal stock3thyme sprigs2fresh bay leaves1cinnamon quill400 gmsmall green French-style lentilsFines herbes vinaigrette2 tsp eachfinely chopped flat-leaf parsley, chervil, tarragon and thyme70 mlextra-virgin olive oil30 mlaged red wine vinegar, or to taste
Preheat oven to 150C. Combine hot tea and prunes in a bowl and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add duck in batches, skin-side down, cook until skin browns and fat renders (5-6 minutes), remove from pan and place in a single layer in a roasting pan large enough to fit duck snugly.
Pour excess duck fat from pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon in pan (reserve remaining fat for another use). Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and stir occasionally until very tender (6-8 minutes). Add half the wine, simmer until reduced by two-thirds (4-5 minutes), add remaining wine and repeat. Add stock and tea from prunes, bring to the simmer, then pour over duck in roasting pan. Add thyme, bay leaves and cinnamon, cover tightly with foil and roast until meat is almost falling from the bone (1½-2 hours). Remove duck from pan, cover with foil and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook lentils in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender (15-20 minutes), drain and set aside.
For fines herbes vinaigrette, combine ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
Transfer duck braising mixture to a saucepan, skim fat from surface, remove thyme, bay leaves and cinnamon and add prunes. Bring to the boil, cook until reduced by two-thirds (10-12 minutes), add lentils, season to taste and warm through. Serve hot with duck, drizzled with fines herbes vinaigrette.