- 200 ml hot strong black tea
- 150 gm pitted prunes
- 8 duck Marylands
- 1 each onion, carrot and celery stalk, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 500 ml full-bodied red wine
- 400 ml veal stock
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 400 gm small green French-style lentils
Fines herbes vinaigrette
- 2 tsp each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, chervil, tarragon and thyme
- 70 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 30 ml aged red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 1Preheat oven to 150C. Combine hot tea and prunes in a bowl and set aside.
- 2Heat 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.
- 3Pour 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.
- 4Meanwhile, cook lentils in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender (15-20 minutes), drain and set aside.
- 5For fines herbes vinaigrette, combine ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
- 6Transfer 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.
Drink Suggestion: Deep purple Madiran (a full-bodied red made from tannat grapes) Drink suggestion by Max Allen