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.