I know what you’re going to say. You live in New York. You are posting a recipe for homemade charcuterie. Hell, you’ve even posted about making your own Old Fashioned. You must be a hipster. If that means I like to eat delicious things, own a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses and more than 2 plaid shirt from J Crew, then I’m guilty as charged.
Regardless, making your own homemade charcuterie has become very popular. I’m just moments away from picking up Michael Ruhlman’s book on the subject (Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing). Some appear much easier than others, especially ones that don’t require several weeks and a temperature controlled room. Duck prosciutto takes a week or so, and you can do it in your fridge, despite some recipes that say you should hang it up wrapped in cheese cloth. Terroir Wine Bar (locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn) has an even better version than mine, but maybe one day mine will be as good as the one served by chef Andy May.
This is definitely the gateway charcuterie. Here goes nothing:
1 duck breast – remove part of the tough skin, but not all the way down to meat
~ 1-2 cups Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon dry sage
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 cloves dried bay leaves, crushed or ground
In a small tupperware container, or even a plastic bag, enclose duck breast with mixture of salt, sage, pepper and bay leaves. you want the entire breast to be nicely coated.
Seal container and place in refrigerator for about 5-7 days. You can check it around 5 days. You will see liquid in bottom of container or bag. This is normal, as the liquid is being pulled from duck breast.
After about 6 days, the duck breast should weigh about 30% less than at start.** When the duck appears to be thinner and hard, rinse off all salt and seasonings and dry. You can now thinly slice your duck breast. Serve on it’s own or with cheese and crackers. It will be salty, but will mellow over a few days in fridge.
**You can weigh duck at the start and keep track to see if you’ve reached that point