Before I irritate the Italians I do want to point out that yes, I know prosciutto refers to ham and ham only. However I don’t know an easy way to name this so I’m going with Duck Prosciutto. However do know that this is simply a salt cured, air dried duck breast that when finished is sliced thinly LIKE prosciutto.
Curing meats is nothing new and has been observed in pretty much every culture in the world since time immemorial. From the Turkish pastirma to the Ukrainian salo, from Portuguese Bacalhau to the Finnish Kuivaliha plus pretty much anything you would find on a charcuterie board are all cured meats. Not to mention those four I listed are just some European examples…there’s a whole world of cured meat out there to eat!
This duck prosciutto recipe is super easy. In fact there are only TWO ingredients (way fewer than my normal duck breast recipes!) However like with many two ingredient recipes, it is more about the method than what you need. In this case, the recipe takes at least two weeks from start to finish.
What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Duck Prosciutto?
The two ingredients needed to make duck prosciutto are duck breast and salt. This recipe is actually quite similar to making cured egg yolks, which is another fantastic salt cured recipe. The duck breast should be high quality with the skin on. Try to aim for no smaller than 250grams, but ideally 300+ as you want to have a larger surface area for your slices. You can add other seasonings if you like, but I suggest making it the most basic way first before you get experimental.
Often duck breast comes frozen two to a pack (since people usually don’t make duck only for themselves) so if you are looking for more duck breast recipes try my duck breast with saffron risotto or a yakitori duck salad!
How To Make Salt Cured Duck Breast At Home
To make this duck prosciutto, or more aptly named salt cured duck breast, lay down a thick layer of salt on the bottom of a container. You want the container to be big enough to comfortably hold the duck, but remember the larger it is the more salt you will need.
Then just cover the entire thing with more salt. Take care to make sure the sides are completely covered as well. This ensures the maximum amount of moisture will leave the duck over the next two days.
Place the salt covered duck breast in the refrigerator and let sit there for two days, about 48 hours.
After two days remove the duck from the salt and brush off all the salt you can. Then place the breast under cold running water for just a few seconds to wash off the rest of the salt. DRY COMPLETELY using absorbent paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. The duck should already be quite dry and hard from the salt, but you don’t want excess moisture on it at this point.
Place the duck breast in a breathable bag and either tie or pinch it closed. Hang it in a cool dry place for 10-12 days.
How Do I Know If The Duck Breast Has Gone Bad?
If you have followed all the steps correctly then you should have no problem ensuring the duck breast is safe to eat. Remember:
- Make sure the duck is completely covered with salt on all sides for two days in the refrigerator.
- Make sure the duck breast has been completely dried before hanging.
- Make sure the bag is breathable AND hanging in a dry place.
How To Cut Duck Prosciutto
As with most cured meats, you want to go thin. Now, ideally you would be able to use a meat slicer to get paper thin charcuterie style cuts. Although since that’s not a kitchen appliance most people have then use a very sharp chef’s knife and cut the breast skin side down. This is because the skin is where the fat is so it is softer than the meat, giving you a better chance not to slip.
- Soft or Hard Cheese – I have recently been on a Rougette kick and find that it goes great with this cured duck breast.
- Spring Onions or Chives
- Baguette or other good Bread
- 1 Container | large enough to hold a full duck breast without squishing
- 1 Duck Breast Aim for one around 300 grams, but this recipe will work with any size
- Salt as much as needed
- In a container lay down a thick bed of salt. Put the duck breast on top in the middle and then pour more salt all over the duck until it is completely covered with another thick layer. Make sure the sides are covered as well and not pressed up against the side of the container.
- Place container in the fridge for two days.
- Remove duck breast from the salt and rinse it off quickly with cold water. Dry completely with a clean kitchen or paper towel and place in a breathable bag.
- Hang bag in a cool, dry place for minimum 10 days.
- When ready to eat remove the cured duck breast from the bag and slice as thin as possible.
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