This rustic and sophisticated dish is great for the winter months. David makes the duck confit, but you can easily buy duck legs that have already been made into confit at upscale butcher shops and some supermarkets. The lentils and root vegetables can be prepared ahead of time and reheated.
lentils du Puy
Salt and freshly ground pepper
head butternut squash
cipollini or pearl onions
duck confit legs
chicken or veal stock
- Combine lentils and water in a pot over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Add onion, bay leaf and thyme, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain lentils and discard flavourings. Spread lentils out on a large tray, season with salt and pepper and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine root vegetables and onions in a large bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Heat a large, oven-proof frying pan over high heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil is hot, add mixed root vegetables and cook on high, tossing occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly coloured. Add butter and toss until melted. Transfer vegetables to a baking sheet, place in oven and roast for 15 minutes or until vegetables are browned and tender.
- While root vegetables are in the oven, heat duck fat in a black cast iron pan or heavy-bottom pan over high heat. When fat is hot, add confit duck legs, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes or until skin begins to colour. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until skin crisps up, about 10 minutes. Do not burn. Skin should be deep brown and crisp.
- As duck crisps, heat chicken stock in a pan over medium heat. Bring to boil, reduce slightly, and then add lentils. Season with salt and pepper. When lentils are heated through, strain excess jus and reserve.
- Place lentils in the middle of the plate. Place roasted celeriac, cipollini onions, turnips and squash around lentils and spoon some jus around lentils and root vegetables to glaze. Top with a crisp duck leg. Serve immediately.
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