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Wild duck breast proscuitto : too dry/leathery.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I did a batch of wild duck breasts for "Hoppy Hour" Friday night at the local home-brew shop.
Half was cured and dried, the other half was cured and then cold smoked over alder and then dried.

While it was received very well by all, even those who swore they didn't like duck of any kind, and especially wild duck, it was not really what I hoped it would be.  In my opinion the lack of natural fat on a wild duck versus a farm raised duck, was a real detractor. It was more like duck jerky than proscuitto, to my tastes.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just not what I was after.

Since I have an almost unlimited supply of wild duck breasts, thanks to a great hunting season, and lots of duck hinting friends, I was encouraged to carry on.

So far I came up with perhaps an en confit, poach the wild breasts in commercial rendered duck fat. But I don't know what that cooking would do to the final product and if the fat would permeate the meat sufficiently.

The second option would be to lard it to create an artificial marbling effect but the breasts are so small, I'm thinking this can only be accomplished by injecting with duck fat, using a very small hypodermic.  One of the regulars is a Vet. so I have access to all the small needles I need.


Anybody have any ideas on how to get some more fat into the final product?

post #2 of 6

I would not do either. There is a reason prosciutto is made out of pork and it is in part because of the fat. Duck prosciutto is very similar to air dried beef in my opinion and it is more of a jerky texture and flavor. Years ago a chef I worked for did duck prosciutto and it was ok. It was a novel idea but the duck breast is just so lean that when you cure it for too long it just makes jerky. I would lean towards doing a confit but not with duck breast I would use the legs etc. I would put the duck breast in a saute pan and serve the as an entre/or app. Having an abundance of wild duck breast is a luxury so I would dry them out but I would cook them. If I were you I would suggest trying your own prosciutto from a local ham it is not that difficult and I think you would be happier with the results.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #3 of 6

If you're into the molecular gastronomy thing you could butterfly the breast and then use TG to put it back together with a nice ribbon of pork belly in the middle.

 

It would be easier than the needles or larding the traditional way and would still slice nicely.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #4 of 6

@MichaelGA That would be an interesting experiment. Another thought I had @SandSquid what about instead of dry cure doing so with a liquid brine might yield a bit juiciness your looking for.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
 

If I were you I would suggest trying your own prosciutto from a local ham it is not that difficult and I think you would be happier with the results.


We have a local guy that raises some truly succulent, fatty, heritage breed pigs, and I've done wet brined, dry brined, and smoked hams as well as prosciutto, bacon (cold and hot smoked), and canadian bacon.  I have at least 20# of various bacon experiments in the deep-freezer.

I can't sell any of my wild game, even the local shelters won't take it, so I'm stuck eating it, and finding appetizing ways to give it away to friends.  Right now, I have 200# of various deer, 50# of bear, several wild turkey, probably 20-25# of wild rabbit.  At least we finally worked our way through all that moose.  I'm not even going after any upland birds (pheasant, dove, etc.) this year.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandSquid View Post
 


We have a local guy that raises some truly succulent, fatty, heritage breed pigs, and I've done wet brined, dry brined, and smoked hams as well as prosciutto, bacon (cold and hot smoked), and canadian bacon.  I have at least 20# of various bacon experiments in the deep-freezer.

I can't sell any of my wild game, even the local shelters won't take it, so I'm stuck eating it, and finding appetizing ways to give it away to friends.  Right now, I have 200# of various deer, 50# of bear, several wild turkey, probably 20-25# of wild rabbit.  At least we finally worked our way through all that moose.  I'm not even going after any upland birds (pheasant, dove, etc.) this year.


Darn !    

 

I wish I had that problem.... love game and hardly ever get time to go get any.  Maybe when I'm really-fully retired, hopefully I can still get out then.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
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