Duck Proscuitto, Step-By-Step

Chef at work shelling peas

Making your own Duck Prosciutto isn’t all that difficult; it just takes time and patience.


Lay a duck breast (approximately 20 ounce) skin side up on your cutting board and trim of excess fat to make an even layer all around the breast. Just take the very top layer, so you end up with about 1/3-inch of fat.




Pound breast so it is an even thickness across, about 1-inch.






Make a curing salt using 50% salt, 50% sugar, spices of choice (Chef Bill uses ¼ pound of fresh chopped basil, 1/4 cup juniper berries, and ¼ cup ground ginger.) Put all the spices with the salt and puree the mixture in a food processor or blender. Mix in the sugar.




Sprinkle a deep glass, ceramic, or stainless pan with the curing mix. Set the duck breast in the pan, skin side down.






Cover breast with the remaining curing mix, completely packing the breast. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 48 hours.





Rinse the curing salt off the breast and pat completely dry.






Cut a length of cheese cloth, approx 18 inches, and lay it flat on your working surface. Cut two lengths of butchers twine, approximately 2 feet each and set aside.





Roll the breast lengthwise (from the narrow end) as tightly as possible, then transfer it to the cheese cloth at one end of the cloth.





Roll the breast in the cheese cloth down the length of the cloth, again as tightly as possible.





This is critical: Tie both ends of the cheese cloth with butchers twine, (need we say it again?) as tightly as possible. If it’s not tight, the prosciutto it won’t hold together when sliced, and you won’t have those attractive pinwheel swirls.





It should look somewhat like a tamale, or those festive party poppers.






Hang the rolled and tied breast in the refrigerator 10 days to dry. Move the breast to the freezer.





Duck Prosciutto with Coho Island Greens Salad and Buttermilk Cracker

When completely frozen through, slice paper thin to serve.

An alternative method to rolling the breast in cheesecloth is to leave the breast flat; just wrap it in cheesecloth then hang, freeze and slice. This would look more like bacon when served.




Duck Prosciutto with Seared Scallops




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