I came home from my pizza workshop in Rome with Gabriele Bonci and the first thing I did was to check my breasts!!! They have been hanging under the attic and were not ready when I left.
They were PERFECT. I adore learning new tricks and the challenges from the Charcutepalozza will be a lot of fun. The original weight of the duck breasts were 165 grams a piece, I cut them off a whole duck. After a night under salt, they went down to 130 grams. To be ready, Ruhlman says they should lose 25-30% of their weight once they have been left to dry.
When I came back today, they were 95 grams each and became lunch! I simply sliced half of the breast and cubed some. I served with my own salt-cured olives and Tuscan bread, pecorino cheese and some red wine. A lunch made in heaven!
On the tray is one of the breasts, the other I am going to preserve as they would wild boar or other dry salumi. I will put small cubes of the duck breast in a jar with black olives, rosemary and chili pepper flakes and cover with olive oil.
Preserving is becoming a lost art and I am trying to learn as much as I can to pass on so we can recreate these treasures at home.
If you want to be inspired by the other bloggers stop by their sites- leave us notes too!!! We love feedback. It is fun to see how people using basically the same recipe get their results.
Historically, salt-cured duck and goose meat where made in northern Italy by the Italian Jewish Commnity, so there are traditions here too with this, but although Italy has been united now for 150 years, the regional recipes do not travel.
Here is part one of the Duck "prosciutto" post for the January Challenge.
Basic recipe for Duck Prosciutto:
Place under salt for 12 hours.
Wipe off salt, season and hang in a cool place to dry.
Should take a week to 10 days.
I did a typical dry rub of Spezie della Regina, a local blend of spices and some black pepper.
For the more technical recipe, check out Ruhlman's Charcuterie book.