1/4 cup butter
2 large yellow onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
zest of 1 lemon (after zesting, save lemon for duck preparation)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups French green (Puy) lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup Sweet Basil cheese, grated (add after cooking)
1 large duck
1 lemon handful of fresh thyme sprigs
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and cook the onions, garlic, carrots and celery over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 10 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT THE CHEESE and mix well. Pour into a large heatproof casserole and set aside.
Rinse the duck inside and out, and pat dry. Prick the duck evenly all over with a fork. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a cup. Cut the lemon into slices. Stuff the breast cavity with the thyme and the sliced lemon. Mix the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper together, and rub over the outside skin. Set duck in middle of the lentil mixture. Bake covered for about 1 hour, or until the duck is tender, well-browned, and the thigh juices run clear. Remove duck for cutting.
Add 1/2 cup grated Sweet Basil cheese to the cooked lentils, and stir until melted. Bake at 350° F at 30 minutes per pound of duck.
May be served with a side of wild rice or your favorite potato.