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Duck Hunt

by Vince Iannone

Of the variety of delicacies found in the DiBruno Brothers Center Island, duck prosciutto is usually regarded as the most interesting.

People are often curious as to how this food is even possible, and even more curious for a sample, which is usually followed by a purchase.

The name alone is confusing as prosciutto should be cured pork. “Proscuitto” in this case indicates that this duck breast is air-cured, giving it that familiar dried texture. But the true key here is methodology and curing duck breasts with a similar meat and fat content to the pork leg.

To accomplish this similarity, it is preferable to use the Magret de Moulard-the breast of duck which has been grown for Foie Gras. This breast will be more succulent and definitely have the desired fat content for curing. The process is actually quite simple, and because of the smaller size, duck curing can be done in your own kitchen.

First, the duck breast is split into two pieces and placed into a container with a bed of salt along the bottom. Next, more salt is added onto the top of the breasts, covering them.

The breasts are then placed into the refrigerator for 24 hours to cure. This time can vary based on the thickness of the breast but if they feel firm, they’re done.

Next remove from refrigerator and rinse the salt off. Now, you can add desired seasonings, usually a lot of black pepper. The breasts are then wrapped in cheese cloth and left to hang in a cool place for one week.

The cured duck prosciutto should be a deep, dark red. It’s that simple. The prosciutto is usually sliced by hand with a straight, sharp knife on a diagonal, to increase the length of the slice.

You can use duck prosciutto in a variety of ways-alone, with figs or melon, on salads, with cheese-and I really recommend it. Stop by and ask for Vince anytime, and I’ll let you try a slice of delicious duck prosciutto.

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