Duck Prosciutto Update


In all the hustle and bustle of the season, I almost forgot to post the results of my duck charcuterie project. After a total of 14 days hanging (five in the garage, nine in the fridge) the duck breasts had lost 30% of their weight and felt firm and solid to the touch. This is how it looked when I sliced it–chewy and dense but still not jerky dry, about the texture you’d want in a good pig prosciutto.

The flavor was, and still is, fantastic: The true essence of wild duck, with a very concentrated, clean gaminess and none of the liver flavor sometimes associated with wild duck. Of course, it’s lacking the buttery fat-cap you get from domestic duck, or pork, for that matter, but the intense flavor helps make up for it.

I did, however, make a mistake. When my buddy gave me the recipe and explained the process, he was referring to domestic duck breasts, which are about three times bigger than wild duck breasts. So his 24-hour salting time was too long, and my version turned out on the salty side. Next round, I’m going for a 12-hour salting, which I think would make these just right. In the mean time, this batch goes great with sweet, chilled fruit (cold, ripe pears seem the best, but melon would work) and lots of water. Or cider. Trial and error. Live and learn. But I’m close.

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