AJ and I love curing our own sausages and meats. As we live in the Back Bay and have a “galley” size kitchen, duck proscuitto has become a superb “alternative” to making room in our fridge for an entire dry cured ham. (Trust me, if it was up to AJ, our produce and condiments would have long been replaced by a pig’s rear!) Below is AJ’s recipe and it’s incredible. The process is simple, the flavors are rich and you only need about 6 cubic inches in your refrigerator and a little patience (3+weeks). Let us know what you think!
- 1 Fresh Duck Breast (Moulard) *you can also use frozen breasts which work just as well
- 1 Large Box of Sea Salt
- Cheese Cloth
- 1 Tablespoon Freshly Ground White Pepper*
- 1 Tablespoon Freshly Ground Coriander*
- *tip: toast the coriander and white pepper for 2-3 minutes on the stovetop in a pan to release the flavor before grinding them).
- Rinse fresh Duck Breast in cold water leaving skin on and then dry with paper towels thoroughly.
- Find a bowl large enough to fit the duck breast so it does not touch the sides, we use a rectangular glass bowl with a snap on plastic top. First fill the bottom of the bowl with ½ inch of salt, place the Duck breast on the bed of salt meat side down (skin facing up), make sure the sides of the breast are not touching the sides of the container. Once the breast is placed properly, pour salt over the top and along the sides. Completely surround with the salt until you are another ½ inch above the breast. Cover the top of the container and let sit in refrigerator for 48 hours.
- Remove from refrigerator and thoroughly rinse the Duck breast of all salt. The skin will have turned a bit tan and the meat underneath will have turned much darker red. Once all the salt has been scrubbed and rinsed off, thoroughly dry the breast again and let air dry while you prepare the rub.
- Using a mortal and pestle, grind up the fresh Coriander and White Pepper together. Take the Duck breast and thoroughly rub the ground coriander and pepper mixture on all sides over the cheesecloth (folded into 2-3 layers to keep rub from falling out), take the breast and place it in the cheesecloth and add remaining rub. Wrap tightly in cheesecloth and secure on all sides.
- Hang Duck breast in refrigerator for 3-5 weeks*. We seemed to get more flavor with longer curing times, however your Duck breast will decrease in size the longer it dries.
- After 3 week minimum, remove and rinse breast and pat dry quickly. Slice super thin with fat on and serve (you can trim the fat off as well but we prefer it on for presentation). This makes a fantastic addition to a cheese plate! Also, consider this as a pizza topping on the Fig and Prosciutto Pizza or on a salad with arugula, raspberries and pistachios.