Charcutepoolza January: Duck Prosciutto

You may have noticed the new banner on the sidebar of my home page. I have signed up to take part in Charcutepoolza, an online gathering of charcuteriers andMy first cut would-be charcuteriers (<–Me). Each month we are issued one charcuterie challenge from Michael Ruhlman’s book “Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing.”   We then prepare and share our experiences about completing the challenges. I was very excited when I came across this idea on twitter (hashtag #charcutepoolza) because having received Ruhlman’s book for my birthday some many months back, I had as yet only prepared homemade bacon. I was thrilled about the prospect of trying more adventurous recipes.

SeasonedThe challenge for January was duck prosciutto.  In order to meet the January 15th deadline I would need to procure duck breasts at the very beginning of the year.  I knew a few of our local farmers raised ducks, but there were none for sale. The husband was kind enough to pick up a whole duck at Whole Foods during a trip to Atlanta; although I would have preferred to buy one from our local growers.  As luck would have it the very next week duck was available at our online farmer’s market.  I bought one even though I had already started the prosciutto.
So step one for me would be to cut up the duck. I have cut up chicken before, but never knowing that my butchering skills would Duck breasts hangingbe displayed for all to see. I found several instructions and videos online and followed them as best as possible. I think I did a passable job. Step two was covering the breast in salt and refrigerating for 24 hours. No problem. Then it was a simple matter of seasoning, wrapping and hanging them for about 7 days.
Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen says she looks for a decrease in weight of about 30%. On the 7th day, I weighed the breasts and they were at 22% and 24% reduction. I decided to let them hang for a few more days. On day 10, I reweighed them and they were both atSliced duck prosciutto 26% reduction in weight. I didn’t want to leave them any longer, besides my deadline was looming, so I unwrapped them and placed them in the freezer for a few minutes.  I sliced one of the breasts as thinly as I possibly could and we ate it straight from the cutting board. It was delicious! I would have liked to be able to slice it thinner, but all in all I would say it was a great success. Originally, I had planned to served the prosciutto in a salad, but since snowpocalypse has hit Georgia I think I would like to make something more substantial like pizza.
I can’t wait for next month’s challenge.

[Update] Most every friday we make pizza. What else could we have for this Friday Night’s Pizza but duck prosciutto? We made it with spinach, red onion, and mozzarella. It was delicious.

5 Comments on “Charcutepoolza January: Duck Prosciutto

  1. Way to go. Glad it was a sucess. I did not know duck could be prepared that way.


  2. It looks and sounds like a lot of work, but since you enjoyed it so much, I am happy for you. Good luck with your next project!

  3. Please send me your email address to be included in the D’Artagnan discounts for Charcutepalooza members. Just use the contact form at my website. – Mrs. Wheelbarrow

  4. Based on this I made a pizza with the same ingredients with the addition of fontina cheese. Twas a big hit. Thanks for the idea.

  5. Scott,
    We really enjoyed that pizza, so I am glad you liked it too. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit the idea to make pizza with the duck prosciutto came from Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Duck Carbonara Pizza. I still would like to try her version. I love the idea of using duck’s eggs on the pizza.

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