Butternut Squash Duck Lasagna

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


Serving Size {4 Servings}


Duck Legs:
1 Maple Leaf Farms Duck Leg and Thigh
2 Tbsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Shallot, minced
1/2 cup Maple Leaf Farms Rendered Duck Fat

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

Bechamel Sauce:
1/8 cup Maple Leaf Farms Rendered Duck Fat
1/4 cup Flour
2 1/4 cups Whole Milk, scalded
1/4 tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated
1 cup Manchego Cheese, grated, divided
Salt and White Pepper to taste

1/2 cup Fresh Spinach, finely chopped
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Duck Confit Meat (from leg/thigh), finely diced
1 tsp Shallot, minced
1 tsp Garlic, minced
6 Baby Portobello Mushrooms, finely diced

Fresh Thyme, garnish


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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.

1. Allow lasagnas to cool for 20 minutes to preserve structure.
2. Garnish with a thyme sprig and thyme leaves.

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