More homemade Christmas gifts: this week I made duck prosciutto. It’s very straightforward and requires two ingredients: boneless duck breasts and kosher salt.
I have had this preparation in mind for a few years and even bought a frozen duck last Christmas, but just never got around to it. I spotted the duck recently and decided to get it done so I broke down the carcass, made stock from the breast bones, back and neck, rendered the extra skin and confited the legs and thighs. Once into the work it made sense to utilize every part.
The basic premise here is to cover the breasts in salt for 24 hours, then hang them in a cool and humid area for about seven days or until they’ve lost 35% in weight. The picture above is the breasts after the 24 sit in salt: see how its drawn out the blood and discoloured the salt. The hard part was slicing the meat on a bias and getting it paper thin, but after a few slices I got the hang of it. The fat became translucent after a few minutes at room temperature and melted on my tongue. The meat was slightly salty and had an excellent flavour. There was a subtle poultry aftertaste that I think comes from the skin: next time I’ll take that off and see. Salty, chewy, creamy, and so easy to make.
- 2x boneless duck breasts, as large as possible
- a shallow container
- enough kosher salt to completely cover the duck breasts, about 3 cups
- kitchen twine
- Pat the duck breasts try.
- Put a medium layer of salt on the bottom of the shallow pan, lay the duck breasts on the salt and then cover the breasts with salt.
- Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Remove the breasts, give them a thorough rinse in cold water and pat dry.
- Tie each breast in a piece of cheesecloth, securing it with kitchen twine and leave enough to hang.
- Weigh each duck breast.
- Hang the breasts in an area that is approximately 50-60 degrees fahrenheit with 60-70% humidity, or as close as you can get.
- After seven days check and see if the breasts have lost approximately 30-35% of their weight. If not give it another day or two and check again.
- Slice on a bias to get a decent amount of meat and fat.