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    Aug 2008
    outside Philadelphia, PA
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    Default Butternut Squash and Pancetta Risotto with Spiced Butter

    Spiced Butter:
    4 cloves garlic, roasted
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 teaspoon finely chopped chervil leaves
    1/2 teaspoon finely chopped marjoram leaves
    Pinch ground cinnamon
    Pinch ground ginger
    Butternut Squash:
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 pound squash, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    5 cups chicken stock, recipe follows
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 pound pancetta, small dice
    1/2 cup minced shallots
    1 cup arborio rice
    2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
    1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
    1/2 cup white wine
    For the butter: In a bowl, crush the roasted garlic with a spoon. Mix in the butter, chervil, marjoram, ground cinnamon, and ginger and set aside.

    For the butternut squash: In large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the squash and season with salt. Cook for 6 minutes until golden on all sides. Add brown sugar and cook until the squash is caramelized and tender, but not mushy. Set aside and keep warm.

    For the risotto: Bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan add the pancetta and saute until lightly browned. Add the shallots, stirring until softened.

    Pour in the arborio rice, sage and thyme cook for 4 minutes, stirring until well coated.

    Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, simmer until mostly absorbed.

    Add the hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed by the rice. Continue to add stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to release the starch. Check rice for doneness after 18 minutes, rice should be al dente but cooked through.

    Stir in Italian parsley, kosher salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the spiced butter.

    Gently fold in the squash. Serve immediately.

    Chicken Stock:

    5 pounds chicken bones, rinsed well

    20 cups cold water

    2 carrots, chopped

    2 onions, chopped

    2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

    1 stalk leek, cleaned, sliced into 2-inch pieces

    3 sprigs fresh Italian parsley

    1 sprig fresh thyme

    2 bay leaves

    1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

    3 cloves garlic, smashed

    Place the chicken bones in a stock pot and cover with the cold water. Bring to a boil, skimming the fat and foam from the surface of the stock.

    Add the carrots, onions, celery, leek, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours.

    Cool slightly and strain the stock into a container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

    Yield: 16 cups

    Preparation Time: 15 minutes

    Cooking Time: 2 hours

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