Duck Scaloppine

with Warm Bacon Lentils

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Serves 4 people

For the lentils:

1 cup dried brown lentils, preferably Castelluccio

1 carrot, cut into ¼ dice

1 onion, cut into ¼ dice

1 celery rib, cut into ¼ dice

2 oz bacon lardons, cut into ¼ dice

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard


For the duck:

1 whole fresh magret duck breast (about 1 ½ pounds)

All-purpose flour for dusting

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 pitted dates, 4 halved and flattened, 4 finely chopped

1 cup Moscato d’Asti wine

½ cup veal stock

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1 small bunch chives

¼ cup chiffonade parsley




For the lentils:

Put the lentils in a medium pot. Add carrot, onion, celery, bacon lardons and water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes.


Drain, reserving ¾ cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer lentils back into the cooking pot.


To the reserved cooking liquid, add the mustard, olive oil, whisk to combine, then pour over lentils and stir to incorporate.


Taste, add salt if necessary, and keep warm.


For the duck:

Leaving the fat on, slice each duck breast across the grain into ½-inch thick pieces. Using a meat mallet, pound the pieces into “scaloppini” 1/8-inch thick and about 4 inches long. Season the flour with salt and pepper, and dust the scallopine with the seasoned flour.


In a 12-inch sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat until smoking. Place 6 pieces of duck in the pan and cook for 2 minutes until a crust starts to form.


Add the chopped dates and cook until duck is dark golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes more. Turn over and cook until browned on the second side, about 1 minute. Drain the oil from the pain, then deglaze with Moscato d’Asti and add the veal stock, whole dates and butter.


Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. While sauce is simmering, separate ¼ of the chives and cut into 3-inch sections. Finely chop the remaining chives. Remove from heat.


Pile lentils on each warm plate, then stack 2-3 pieces of the duck on top of lentils, and place two date halves on top of each stack. Add chopped chives and parsley to the pan and spoon half of pan sauce over the duck. Then add remaining olive oil to the pan sauce and spoon around the outside of each serving.


Top with the long-cut chives and serve at once.

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