Friday, January 1, 2010

Duck Proscuitto

I like duck, it is possibly my favorite poultry. Quite some time ago I picked up a copy of Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie. I am very interested in the art of charcuterie, and wanted to give it a shot. Ruhlman recommends the duck proscuitto as a starter project, and frankly I was a little intimidated and scared at the prospect of curing my own meat and then dying of botulism. Well I was a victim of my own ignorance, and after some research, and many successes, I am neither dead nor afraid. Whenever I find duck at a decent sale price, chances are I am picking up a few of them, and devoting a good deal of time to some stock, confit, and proscuitto. I am continually amazed at the ability of both duck and pork to be transformed into something transcedent of their original form (which is also good.)

This little beauty is easy to pull off, I am not giving away the recipe, but at its most basic form its pound for pound salt, and 24 hours. This can be tweaked to include spice, and herbs, but I would really recommend an addition of sugar. Sadly, this is not a Magret duck breast and lacks the almost foie gras like buttery fat. Tie the little beauty in cheesecloth and hang for about a week.

We recently served duck proscuitto on our New Years tasting menu: Quebec A Grade foie gras torchon with duck proscuitto, toasted brioche, apple cider reduction, and organic pea shoots. Mmm tasty. Good luck, and dont be afraid to try this at home. Just do your research first, please.