Monday, February 6, 2012

Duck Breast Prosciutto (the rise and fall of the breast meat mummies)

Today's Specials: Sauteed Fillet of Continuing Excitement w/ a Noticeable Predilection Towards Salty Meat

Set to the tune of Cold War Kids'  "Hang Me Out To Dry"

It's been a wild couple weeks of curing meat in the Captivity Kitchen!  We took on bacon, and we've made some duck confit (which we'll be checking on here in a few weeks)....but we had all these breasts hanging around (incidentally, I can't decide if breasts 'hanging around' is a good thing or not.  It sorta reminds me of baseballs dangling in turkey skin...and you are absolutely welcome for that visual aid), and taking another recipe out of Rhulman & Polcyn's Charcuterie book, I decided Duck Breast Prosciutto was the way to go....

Step One:  As per usual....roll it in salt.  Then dump a bunch of salt on top...yeah, you heard me.  

Now were gonna let that sit for a day or so, then rinse off the breasts and allow them to air dry a little bit.

Step Two:  Wrap them and tie them up in cheesecloth so they become little breast meat mummies (another good band name).  I used the butcher's knot technique I learned in good 'ol culinary school, but anything works so long as it stays all wrapped up.  Do KNOT be concerned!  Heh....did you see what I did there? Heh....'knot'....I....huh?  Oh, yeah....

Now, you're gonna hang these little guys up in a fridge or other cool space for about a week or until they feel uniformly dehydrated (you could use a dehydrator...but what are you some sort of pussy?).  


Step Three:  Pull em down unwrap them, of course..the suspense alone must be killing you!  You should have something that resembles hunk a of nasty-looking duck breast jerky.  How do you know it's dry enough?  It should make an audible, and hard-sounding thunk when you tap it on your cutting board.  It should be slightly pliable...but definitely something you'd pass on if it were handed to you to eat.  Which brings us to how to eat it.

Step Four: You want to slice it VERY thin and on a slight bias to maximize an ideal meat-to-fat ratio.  I find it's a little easier to cut from the fat side, but whatever you find easiest is what you should do.   Whichever way you go, you'll find the last millimeter on the meat side to be the toughest to get through.  You'll also find the breast fully cured and displaying a gorgeous deep maroon color.  Like a wine, almost.  That's when you know you've done it right.

I drizzled mine with just a little olive oil and a touch of pesto and ate it right there on the spot.  So good!  Like sex, but you won't feel the burning gaze of your pets as they silently judge you from across the room (note: may not apply if you keep ducks as pets).  AND, it's great as a snack on it's own or placed atop some bread with some Gruyere.  Hell, roll up some bacon in it and go to town....I won't judge.

It'll stay good in the fridge for a few weeks and last in the freezer until you remember again that you put it there.

Thanks again, Braisers!  Till next time!  Oh, and just a little business;  I've added a handy-dandy little box at the top of this page so that you may, if you wish, subscribe to receive updates via E-mail.  

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Do it.  Don't do it.  S'up to you.


  1. You and I need to talk more about this. I've had duck once and I can't imagine that what I tasted would be anything like this, because of the fact it has been cured.

    Nice work.

    1. Thanks! I'm available through the usual channels so if there's anything you want to know, just ask.

  2. I gain weight just reading this blog!