Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Duck Proscuitto: Day 2

While Day 1 was Friday, Day 2 was really last Saturday. I put my duck breasts in to cure on Friday night and pulled them out Saturday evening. Per Ruhlman's instructions and Chef Chris Eley's advice, I rinsed them, patted them dry, wrapped them in cheesecloth, then did a not-very-tidy tying job with butcher's twine. Both little guys are happily hanging in a cool-ish, dark space. (Most important, says Eley, is dark with no airflow.) I've dubbed them Thing 1 and Thing 2.

In 7 days, I'll unwrap Thing 1 and see how he's doing. I hope he's doing OK, since I would like to take him to a party that night (sliced thinly and served with a baguette) Eley recommends curing for 10 days, so I'll unwrap Thing 2 mid-next week.

On the advice of a friend in Montreal who's much more adept at salting and curing than I am, I dried the curing salt and spices out in the oven -- on parchment paper at 350 for about 45 minutes. It can be reused -- either for curing duck legs for confit or for a rich and interesting "duck salt" on dishes. (Be aware, brines or wet cures can't be re-used, but some dry brines can be.)

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