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A New Squash Recipe... Really

Squash has long been a favorite, appearing in soup, steamed served with berry sauce and diced.

With squash being so ubiquitous around this time of year, many folks often claim they've run out of ways to prepare it.

Well, help is on the way, with The Early Show resident chef Bobby Flay's recipe for Butternut Squash and Duck Risotto.

Butternut Squash & Duck Risotto
Serves: 4-6

1 small butternut squash, halved and seeded
Canola oil
2 duck breasts, 8-10 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Thyme sprigs, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush cut-side of the squash with oil and season with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet and bake until soft, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly, scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor. Set aside.

2. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Season duck breasts with salt and pepper and place in the pan, skin-side down. Cook until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Remove most of the rendered fat in the pan and place the duck in the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes or until cooked to medium-rare doneness. Remove from the oven and let rest.

3. Place the stock in a saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the rice and cook until the grains become opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the rice has absorbed all of it. Add 2 cups of the stock and stir constantly until the liquid is completely absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until about half of broth has been added. Stir in the pureed squash and continue adding broth in same manner until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 18 minutes. Add the parmesan cheese, butter and thyme and stir until combined. Cut the duck into 1/2-inch dice and fold into the risotto. Serve the risotto into shallow bowls and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

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