Duck Ham Hanging One last duck splurge: had some shots of a recent duck prosciutto to share.  A magret duck breast packed in salt, rinsed, dried and hung for a week. Magrets are the breasts from ducks raised for foie gras—they're thick and rich with a thick layer of delicious fat.  They're fantastic grilled and served medium rare like a strip steak.  They're also terrific to dry-cure.

And it's not more difficult than I've said before.  It should always be sliced thinly.  It goes great as a garnish for salad or makes an excellent canape, served on toasted crouton spread with a little dijon.

Regrettably mine, pictured below (pix by donna), went several days over—oops, wasn’t paying attention, and, in the dry kitchen where I’d hung it, it got a little to dry along the edges, almost jerky-ish, as you can see.  Still tasty but not perfect.  One reader of this blog didn't like his version of the dry-cure, so he sauteed it and loved the results—if you served this at a restaurant you could bill it as duck pancetta, especially if you gave it some additional seasonings in the dry cure, which I would encourage.

The magret here, a gift from Mom—thanks Mom!—came from D'Artagnan, a great source for all kinds of finer fowl products—legs to confit (see previous post), duck fat, foie.

I think I already explained recipe and method but in response to comment and for those who want to try it, complete recipe is in Charcuterie, but it's no more difficult than this: pack one duck breast in kosher salt, cover and refrigerate 24 hours.  Remove from salt, rinse it, dry it, wrap in cheesecloth and hang for a week or so.  A general rule is dry-cured products are done when they lose 30% of their weight.  If you're concerned, weigh your breast before you hang to dry and record the weight.

Also: Jason Song wrote a great article about trying to live lean on the groceries, part of which included a strategy for making your own bacon.  They got so much mail about it, most of it asking for the bacon recipe, they reprinted it, again, from the book.

Duck Proc for Blog