Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Duck
Tender slices of duck breast are fanned atop a savory risotto flavored with sweet butternut squash, Parmesan, and sage. Add a drizzle of balsamic-scented pan sauce, garnish with some fresh sage leaves, and you have a fantastic dish that your dinner guests will rave about. Serve it with a simple green salad and a glass of Pinot Noir for an elegant supper.
1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 ounces Glace de Canard Gold®
4 cups water
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus whole sage leaves for garnish
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 boneless duck breast halves (8-10 ounces each)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with nonstick spray, and place the squash halves cut side down on the foil. Roast for about 1 hour, until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Let cool. Peel the squash by tearing the peel off with your fingers or removing it with a paring knife. Place the squash in a large bowl and mash lightly with a fork or potato masher. Measure out 1 generous cup and set aside; reserve the rest for another use.
Combine the Glace de Canard Gold® and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer, whisking until the concentrate dissolves. Keep the stock at a low simmer.
Heat the olive oil in another, large saucepan over medium low heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rice to the pan, raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until it is absorbed.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Ladle 1 cup of the hot stock into the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is absorbed. Adjust the heat to maintain the rice at a gentle simmer. Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until each addition is absorbed, until the rice not quite al dente.
Stir in the mashed squash. Continue cooking and adding stock until the rice is al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the stock.
Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, sage, and butter, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the risotto is cooking, sauté the duck: With the tip of a sharp knife, score the skin of the duck breasts in a crisscross pattern and season them on both sides with salt and pepper. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the duck breasts, skin side down. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the skin is golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Turn the breasts and cook another 6 minutes or so, until they are browned. (The internal temperature should be about 130 degrees for medium rare.) Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board and let them rest 5-10 minutes.
Pour off the fat from the skillet. Add remaining 1/2 cup stock and simmer until it reduces slightly. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and seaon to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the risotto into shallow bowls. Slice the duck diagonally across the grain. Fan the sliced duck on top of the risotto and drizzle the pan sauce around the slices. Garnish with sage leaves.
Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir