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Butternut Squash Duck Lasagna

Butternut squash duck lasagna

Student Grand Prize 2016 Chef Recipe Contest, Rebecca Alarcon, Houston Community College, Houston, TX

Ingredients

  • 2

    2 Tbsp Salt

  • 3

    1 tsp Black Pepper

  • 4

    1 tsp Shallot, minced

  • 6

    1 Butternut Squash Neck, cut into 1/8" rounds (16 pc)

  • 8

    1/4 cup Flour

  • 9

    2 1/4 cups Whole Milk, scalded

  • 10

    1/4 tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated

  • 11

    1 cup Manchego Cheese, grated, divided

  • 12

    Salt and White Pepper to taste

  • 13

    1/2 cup Fresh Spinach, finely chopped

  • 14

    1 cup Ricotta Cheese

  • 15

    1 cup Duck Confit Meat (from leg/thigh), finely diced

  • 16

    1 tsp Shallot, minced

  • 17

    1 tsp Garlic, minced

  • 18

    6 Baby Portobello Mushrooms, finely diced

  • 19

    Fresh Thyme

Directions

Duck Legs

  • 1

    Prepare the duck leg by rubbing in salt, pepper and shallot.

  • 2

    Refrigerate for 24 hours. Note: While curing duck, you may prepare the butternut rounds, Bechamel and Spinach/Ricotta mixture.

  • 3

    After curing duck for 24 hours, place duck and 1/2 cup duck fat in a pan.

  • 4

    Place in preheated oven (275 degrees F). Allow duck to cook until tender or falling off bone, approximately 4 hours.

  • 5

    Pull duck from fat; allow to rest for 20 minutes. Pull meat from bone and dice finely.

Butternut Squash Rounds

  • 1

    Using a long-necked butternut squash, cut off neck and peel. Set remainder aside for another use.

  • 2

    Carefully use a mandoline or knife to cut 1/8" slices of the neck.

  • 3

    Wrap in plastic and store in refrigerator.

Bechamel Sauce

  • 1

    In sauce pan, heat duck fat; whisk in flour.

  • 2

    Cook the roux for 5 minutes, and then add scalded milk.

  • 3

    Whisk briskly, ensuring there are no lumps.

  • 4

    Grate nutmeg into sauce.

  • 5

    Add salt and white pepper to taste.

  • 6

    Simmer for 20 minutes; stirring frequently.

  • 7

    Add 3/4 cup manchego, reserving the rest for later.

  • 8

    Remove from heat after ingredients are well-incorporated.

  • 9

    Cool and refrigerate.

Spinach/Ricotta Mixture

  • 1

    Finely chop spinach.

  • 2

    Fold into ricotta.

  • 3

    Store in refrigerator.

Duck Confit and Mushroom Mixture

  • 1

    On medium heat, sauté shallot, garlic, duck confit and mushrooms.

  • 2

    After all ingredients are added, lower heat and sauté for 10-15 minutes.

  • 3

    Pull off heat and allow to cool slightly. *Keep all the ingredients cool or room temperature. Pull from refrigerator and begin to assemble lasagnas.

Lasagna Assembly

  • 1

    Place four butternut rounds down on nonstick baking sheet.

  • 2

    Using a small spatula, spread the cool Bechamel on the rounds.

  • 3

    Spoon a small amount of Spinach/Ricotta mixture on top of the Bechamel.

  • 4

    Spoon a small amount of Duck/Mushroom mixture on the Spinach/Ricotta mixture.

  • 5

    Repeat with the butternut rounds, Spinach/Ricotta and Duck/Mushroom, for four layers.

  • 6

    On the top layer, spread a thin layer of Bechamel.

  • 7

    Using a skewer, pierce the mini-lasagnas in the middle to keep the layers in place.

  • 8

    Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Make sure the rounds are cooked and the top layer is golden brown.

  • 9

    During the last 5 minutes of baking, remove skewers and top with remaining manchego.

Plating

  • 1

    Allow lasagnas to cool for 20 minutes to preserve structure.

  • 2

    Garnish with a thyme sprig and thyme leaves.

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