Monday, February 22, 2010

Duck breast "prosciutto"

In my previous charcuterie post I mentioned cured duck breasts hanged to dry in the outside laundry closet. With the rains and fog we had almost constantly, it took them two weeks instead of one to dry, but they are finally done (and almost all eaten).

I followed the recipe is from the Charcuterie book; here's what I did:
- split a large Pekin duck breast, skin on, trimmed, washed, dried with paper towels, covered completely with salt on all sides, and refrigerated for a day
- rinsed off the salt, dried with paper towels
- seasoned the breast halves with freshly ground white pepper
- wrapped them in cheesecloth, tied with a string, and hung them to dry in a spot protected from the sun (irrelevant in this weather) and rain - the outside closet with the door open
- checked them every other day to see if they feel firm and dry
- after about 10 days I got nervious and thought that I may have to bring out a fan to help them dry, but the rain stopped then, and in a few more days they felt just right
- brought them into the kitchen, unwrapped, sliced thin at an angle across the grain, and served them as a part of our late-night cheese and wine course.

The duck breasts are delicious, they have prosciutto-like texture and the gamey, slightly sweet duck flavor. They will be a part of our cheese and wine course forever. See how this will work in a regular California weather.

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