Golden Duck Legs with Pan-Fried Butternut Squash and Sage

6

1 buttercup squash

6 duck legs, thigh and drumstick

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

6 sage sprigs, leaves picked from stems

Sea salt to finish

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Halve squash by slicing down with stem on top. Place both squash halves seed side down on the cookie sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until soft throughout. Leave oven on.


Lightly coat the bottom of a large, stovetop and oven-safe sauté pan with 1 tablespoon oil and place over medium heat on stove. Season duck legs with salt and pepper. Place the duck legs skin side down and let cook on medium heat, allowing fat to render into the pan. Once they are golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes, flip and cook another 5 minutes in the pan. Turn off heat. 


Remove squash from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Place the duck legs into the oven in the sauté pan and let cook for 15 minutes.


Remove squash seeds and their fibrous membrane and then the skin and cut into wedges. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining olive oil to a large sauté or cast iron pan. Add squash and let brown, about 8 to 10 minutes, and then flip and let brown on other side. Turn off heat. 


Once duck legs are fully cooked, remove pan from oven and transfer legs to a plate or rack to rest. Put the pan used for the duck over medium heat on the stove top and add sage leaves to rendered fat and olive oil. Fry until they get a little crispy (not brown) and remove to a paper towel. Sprinkle with a little salt. 


To serve, lay down a few pieces of squash, then a duck leg and garnish with a little sage. Pour a bit of duck fat from the pan over the dish and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve.  

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