4 duck breasts
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 small onion finely chopped
2 sticks celery finely diced
1 carrot finely diced
300 grams Puy lentils rinsed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
750 millilitres chicken stock hot (made from a good-quality stock cube)
squeeze lemon juice
extra-virgin olive oil to taste
400 grams curly kale washed and roughly shredded
300 millilitres red wine jus
Heat the olive oil in a wide saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is beginning to soften.
Stir in the lentils, so they’re coated in the oil and cooking juices, then add the thyme sprigs and hot stock. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are tender but still holding their shape, and the stock is absorbed.
Discard the thyme sprigs.
Stir the lemon juice and a good slug of extra-virgin olive oil into the lentils and adjust the seasoning.
Blanch the kale in salted water, cool down in ice cold water
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4.
Score the skin of the duck breasts with a sharp knife and season well with salt and pepper.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and place the duck breasts in, skin-side down. Fry for 6-7 mins. then turn and add the thyme, star anise and butter. Allow this to melt, basting the duck with the juices, then transfer everything to a small roasting tin and finish in the oven for 5-6 mins for pink or 10-12 mins for well done.
Reheat the lentils in red wine jus, reheat the kale and buttered.
Place the lentils into the centre of the plate, buttered kale topped with duck breast and glazed with the jus.