I’ve mentioned the Facebook group Fermenters Kitchen before. Whether you’re new at fermenting, curing, and the like or an old hand, you can learn a lot from the members of that group. The monthly kitchen project is a lot of fun, too. This month’s required getting a duck, specifically duck breast. Why? Because we’re making duck prosciutto. I got a late start to the project, because I had a hard time finding a duck. Jane, who runs the group and the organizer of this project bought duck breasts. Nothing like that to be found here, so I bought the whole thing.
Now that I had a duck, I had to remove the breast meat.
I washed them off and dried them. The next step is familiar to anyone who has cured bacon. Yes, it gets a salt nap; I used sea salt. Pour a layer of salt on the bottom of a container, add the duck breasts, and then cover in salt. Then stick in the fridge, loosely covered, for 1 to 3 days.
Mine stayed in the salt for about 30 hours. I meant to keep it there for about 24 hours, but I got preoccupied.
After naptime, rinse and dry the breasts. It’s time to add the spices/herbs you like. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to add. I looked to see what I had and what might work. I pretty much went with the tried and true: black peppercorns, whole coriander, juniper berries, thyme, and rosemary. Now, instructions say to wrap in cheesecloth. Me? I put each one in a Soup Sock. I tend to guard my cheesecloth, since I need it for cheesemaking. Besides, it seemed so much easier to just stick in the breasts with their herb/spice companions. Weigh each breast, and put somewhere you’ll remember. I have a green erasable board attached to the side of the cheese cave, and I wrote them down there. I also wrote them elsewhere in case I brushed up against the board and make the figures unreadable. (Experience is the best teacher.)
Jane hangs her duck breasts over the crisper in her refrigerator. That’s really not an option for me, so I used my cheese cave.
There they will hang until they have lost 35 percent of their body weight.
Now that I know there is such things as duck prosciutto, I’ve run across many recipes for how to do it. Of course now my mind runs amok with ideas of other things to prosciutto-ize.© Copyright 2014 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook