Duck Prosciutto. It’s been on my list of things to make for quite some time. Finally got around to it.
I followed Michael Ruhlman’s instructions, which were straightforward enough: Salt the duck breast overnight in the fridge, wash off the salt, and then hang for about a week.
Oh, but I had my doubts. Homemade prosciutto? Is this really something I could pull off? The fear of potentially poisoning myself and intrepid taste testers did (briefly) cross my mind. On the other hand, salt preserving is one of the oldest methods for preserving food. It’s worked for thousands of years.
I’m curious by nature. Had to give duck prosciutto a go.
Fast forward one week.
Time to untie and unwrap the prosciutto and see what awaits…
Looks like prosciutto. Smells like prosciutto. Tastes, well, like prosciutto, but with a nice ‘ducky’ flavor for lack of a better word. Success.
Here’s what you need: a duck breast, salt, cheesecloth, and string. Ruhlman recommends Magret duck breasts (ducks raised for foie gras), as they’re thick and rich with a nice layer of fat. That being said, any duck breast will suffice. You can season the duck breast with any number of dried spices or herbs (thinking Chinese five-spice or some freshly ground black pepper would be nice).
With that first duck prosciutto under my belt, am eager to make more.
Duck prosciutto BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato — with of course, duck prosciutto in lieu of bacon).
Duck prosciutto mac and cheese (why not?).
Duck prosciutto wrapped dates.
Duck prosciutto on pizza.
Frittata or omelet with duck prosciutto.
Pasta with duck prosciutto.
Really, you can’t go wrong with duck prosciutto.
I made a red onion, fennel, and fig five-spice jam to go with the prosciutto. Something a bit sweet to serve as a foil to the saltiness of the prosciutto.
from Michael Rhulman’s Charcuterie
1 duck breast
1 cup of kosher salt
any number of dried spices/herbs (optional)
Coat all sides of the duck breast with salt, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Rinse the duck under water to remove the salt. Pat dry. At this point you can season with spices if you so desire.
Wrap the duck breast in cheesecloth and tie tightly with kitchen twine. Hang in a cool (50°F to 60°F), humid place for about 7 days (such as a basement or cellar).
*Note: Dry-cured products are done when they lose 30% of their weight.
Fig Onion Jam
Adapted from the Splendid Table
7 large dried figs, 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup red wine
extra virgin olive oil
1 medium-to large red onion (~2 cups), 1/4″ inch dice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoon brown sugar
Place the chopped figs in a bowl. Pour the red wine over and marinate for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the wine, and set the figs aside. Add additional wine so you have 1/2 cup.
Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a saute pan over high heat. When hot, add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Saute until the onion is browned a bit, but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Chinese five-spice and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes.
Add the vinegar, scraping any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Boil down until most of the vinegar has evaporated. Add the reserved 1/2 cup wine and brown sugar, and continue to boil over medium heat until thick and syrupy. Stir in the drained figs. Taste for seasoning and simmer a few more minutes.
Place in a jar and refrigerate for a few days before using.