Duck Prosciutto (from KOSHER REVOLUTION)
As you may know, “kosher” is a method of cooking as opposed to a specific type of cuisine. I had the distinct pleasure of working on the photo shoot for Geila Hocherman and Arthur Boehm’s new title, KOSHER REVOLUTION, which was published earlier this Fall (Kyle Books). This book is rooted in kosher practice and yet is wonderfully innovative, large-in-part to it’s “tool box” system that employs strategic substitutions to make any dish kosher. One example of this is Geila’s recipe for Duck Prosciutto. My husband, the pork-i-vore, adored it. I think I gained 5 happy pounds on this shoot!
Two 6- or 8- ounce packages of muscovy duck breasts*
4 cups kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine vinegar
Over a burner flame, singe away any remaining pinfeathers from the breasts. Rinse the breasts and dry with paper towels.
On a dish just large enough to hold the breasts, make a 1-inch bed of the salt. Place the breasts on the salt and cover with another inch of salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
In a small bowl, combine the coriander, fennel, and pepper. Holding the breasts over the sink, rinse with the vinegar (to remove the salt), and then under cold running water. Dry the breasts and rub all over with the spice mixture. Wrap the breasts, meat sides together, in cheesecloth and knot it at both ends. Using sturdy household tape (duct tape works well), attach one end of the cheesecloth to the top of the refrigerator interior, or hang the breasts from the inside of the refrigerator door, above and at the side of the top door shelf. Let the breasts cure until they feel firm but not dry, about 2 weeks. Start checking after a week. Thinner or smaller breasts will take less time.
Using an electric slicer or a sharp carving knife, slice the breasts paper thin or as thinly as possible. Serve.
*Mascovy Duck Breast: A breed native to Mexico and South and Central America, Muscovy ducks have ample breasts with lean, deeply flavorful meat. By “breast” Geila refers to magrets, or two half-breasts. She prefers breasts supplied by Aaron’s Gourmet Emporium.