Duck with Lentils, Kale and Mushrooms

Earthy, rich winter flavours

Earthy, rich winter flavours

It is cold and rainy outside and I am craving comforting food. But none of my go-to dishes from the last months will do – they are all to light and summery.

So on a whim I bought some duck breast. It has a more distinct and earthy flavour than chicken  at the same time it is just as lean and healthy (that is if you remove the skin).

Next I hunted for a recipe. I found one that combined all that I was looking for: rich and nutty flavours – nutritious and healthy ingredients. The result was an amazingly satisfying and soothing meal.

I will confess I have made this dish three times in as many weeks. The first time it seemed a little complex;  with all those pots and pans. But by the third time I was sitting down to eat in little over half an hour.

(Recipe based on the blog savory simple)
Serves 2

1 large or 2 small duck breast
2 shallot (or small onion)
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of lentils
2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock (twice the volume of the lentils)
1 sprig of thyme (or a pinch of dried thyme)
200g of frozen kale (you can use fresh kale but I will admit I prefer frozen for this recipe)
60ml water
salt, back pepper
250g (chestnut) mushrooms


  1. Bring the duck breast to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
  2. Start by chopping the shallots. Slowly fry them in a small pot until translucent.
  3. Once cooked place half of the shallots in a second small pot.
  4. Rinse the lentils and add to one of the pots.
  5. Add the chicken stock to the lentils.
  6. Throw in one whole clove of garlic.
  7. Add the (sprig of ) thyme. Cover and cook until the lentils are tender. About 20 minutes. (The lentils will stay warm for quite a while so there is no need to try and time everything exactly.)
  8. Take the second pot with shallots and add the kale to it.
  9. Mince one clove of garlic and add to the kale. Cover with a lid and cook until tender. 7-10 minutes. Once cooked you can let it stand until the remaining dishes are ready. You can quickly reheat it if necessary.
  10. Heat a frying pan (no oil!)
  11. Score the skin of the duck from left to right and top to bottom a few times into a diamond pattern.
  12. Season with salt and pepper.
  13. Place the duck breast skin side down into the pan and cook on a medium heat for 6 minutes. Turn and cook for another 4 minutes. Wrap the duck in aluminum foil and allow to rest.
  14. Cut the mushrooms into slices. Wipe the fat from the frying pan. Fry the mushrooms quickly until just tender.
  15. Now taste and season the mushrooms, kale and lentils with salt and pepper.
  16. Optional: remove the skin from the duck (as tasty as it is I remove it as I do not want the additional fat).
  17. Cut the duck breast into slices.
  18. Serve by layering lentils, kale, mushroom and duck on a plate.


  1. Duck is probably my favourite meat, I can imagine that this dish tastes fantastic!

    • afracooking said:

      Amazing that you should have stumbled across this particular old post of mine. I actually bought a piece of duck today to make exactly this dish tomorrow. It is so wonderfully wintery and satisfying 🙂

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