Serves 6

“This is staple food in south-west France, where the cookery revolves around duck. I use tinned lentils, not only because it cuts down on the time involved in cooking this (very simple) dish, but also because they are extremely good.” Cathy Gaynor

Duck and lentils on a plate
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5 from 7 votes

Roast duck and Puy lentils

This is staple food in south-west France, where the cookery revolves around duck.
Cook Time50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Duck and lentils, Protein-rich
Servings: 6
Author: Cathy Gayner


  • Half a duck breast per person
  • 150 g butter
  • 3 large onions thinly sliced
  • 2 packets of smoked lardons
  • 1 large tin of lentilles préparées or 350g Puy lentils see note
  • 1 dessert spoon tomato puree
  • l chicken stock cube
  • 200 ml red wine
  • Salt and pepper


  • The duck is best cooked on a barbecue but if you don't have one, score the skins and sear the fatty side of the breasts until golden brown in a dry frying pan. Turn the duck over and seal the other side.
  • Transfer to a baking dish and cook for 12 minutes at 200°C/ Fan 180°C/Gas 6.
  • To make the lentils melt the butter and very slowly, with the lid on the pan, cook the onions and the bacon. It will take about 30 minutes and by that time the onions will be very soft and translucent.
  • Tip in the lentils, add the tomato puree, stock cube, red wine and lots of seasoning.
  • Bring to the boil and cook briskly for about 5 minutes until the flavours all come together and the liquid has reduced a little. Season well. You are looking for a rich, earthy taste, so you might need to add a dash of balsamic vinegar or some liquid stock.
  • The lentils can be prepared a day ahead or even frozen.
  • Slice the duck thinly and arrange on each plate on top of a mound of lentils.


  • When in France, buy an 800g tin of lentilles préparées. Failing that, cook 350g Puy lentils with a bay leaf for around 15-30 minutes.
  • Liquid stock is sold in all French supermarkets and is an essential for every store cupboard.

Recipe extracted from Living France Magazine

Originally from Le Rouzet: An English Cook in France by Cathy Gayner.


  1. 5 stars
    One of my favorite dishes! I add diced carrots and bits of dried fruit such as dates or raisins to add layers of flavor and texture. A touch of Moroccan paired with traditional French cookery.

  2. Instead of “2 packets of smoked lardons” or “1 dessert spoon tomato puree”, which are both rather nebulous measurements, why not say what weight of lardons, aka bacon, or use the Tsp. or Tbl. or how many grams of tomato puree. It would make it mushy easier for all of us to know what your measurements are.

    • 5 stars
      Hey Romeo, thank you for this feedback! We strive to make French cooking as easy as we can for our readers, so will take this into account for our future recipes.

      I hope you have a great day!

  3. OK – I am an absolute coward in cooking despite my dreams of being good at it. , but this does seems simple, right? No BBQ but I think I can do the pan thing and I have Puy
    lentils in my cupboard waiting for something new to be tried.

    • Hi Cheryl, I completely understand your struggle! Trying new recipes can be so daunting.

      Rest assured though, even for the best Michelin chefs out there, practice makes perfect. So don’t be discouraged if the first attempt of anything you cook isn’t to your taste (although, I certainly hope this recipe will be), it’s part of the learning process! I hope you give the recipe a try, and let me know how it goes!

  4. I have the book it came from, Recipes from Le Rouzet, – everythng in it is worth trying and super easy so I am giving it to everyone for Christmas

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