My duck post (Final): duck prosciutto, duck confit, and seared duck breast with cherry port wine sau

Discussion in 'Nose to Tail' started by snorkelinggirl, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Mick,

    Still a bit to go. The duck prosciutto still needs to lose another 10% in weight, and is still a bit squishy. It smells fine, so I hope that all is going well. I've seen other people take up to 5 weeks to dry the duck breasts. The confit is ready to eat anytime, I've been holding off because my husband has been out of town. Will be updating this post soon. Thanks for checking in!!

    Have a great day!
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I knew it had to be someone from Corvallis cooking ducks!

    Looking forward to seeing the prosciutto! All the rest looks great too!
  3. Clarissa, you are amazing!

    Following your cookery is just one gastronomical and grand culinary delight!

    It will be fun to see how your next doings turn out!

    Meanwhile, happy Friday and happy all!

    Cheers!!! - Leah
  4. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    After 24 days of drying in my project refrigerator which was running about 50 - 55 deg F and 65 - 75% humidity, I decided to call it good on the duck prosciutto. Each duck breast lost approximately 25% of the initial weight. I was initially targeting for about a 30% weight loss, but they felt plenty firm to the touch today and I didn't want them to get overly dry and turn into duck jerky.

    Here is the meat side of a breast. Dark colored, firm to the touch, translucent on the edges. No mold growth of any kind, which I was especially happy to see.

    Here is the fat side.

    A few thin slices. A little bit of case hardening, but not too bad. I'm going to add humidity control to my project frig someday, and that should solve that problem. But in general I'm quite pleased with how it dried. The flavor is very intense and rich....richer than pork prosciutto and of course quite ducky in taste. I couldn't really taste the spices from the cure at all. Salty, but not overly so. Next time I do this I might dust on some spices before drying.

    Cross-sectional view.

    And plated! Red chard sauteed in duck fat, topped with fried eggs and some thinly sliced duck prosciutto. A little mashed butternut squash on the side.

    Sheer heaven!

    I'll be adding a bit more to this post in another week or so when I break into the confit, so hope you'll stick with me for just a bit longer!

    Thanks for reading!
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Clarissa...... my o my that looks good.....

    Have you thought of trying the "saturated brine' humidity control for the project fridge.....
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  6. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You hit that out of the park! Great colour. Sort of thing that would go well in a reinforced salad of bitter greens to counterpoint the duck fat.
  7. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That said with eggs looks just perfect . I ate salads in up country France that used duck gizzards ,( cured)bitter greens & soft poached egg & that great rustic bread.
    I just think this is great demonstration of " old school " kitchen skills. Way to go Clarissa.
  8. Clarissa, you are an absolute rock star with food!!!

    The egg oozing with perfection, the vibrant contrast on the duck slivers, and the textures of the squash and chard really jumping off the screen as well; WOW!

    It is a joy to follow your beautiful posts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Happy Friday!!! Cheers! - Leah
  9. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good morning, Dave. Thank you so much!!

    I did use a couple of pans of salted water in the frig, which helped me to hold the 65 - 75% humidity levels. Unfortunately, every time the refrigerator compressor kicked on, it would pull the humidity levels down to 65% or even lower and then it would take a little while for the humidity to come back up. But the salted water trick did help a lot. I made duck prosciutto about a year ago without the salted water pans in the frig; according to my notes the humidity levels were running between 50 - 65% with 50 - 55 deg F temp, and I did have more case hardening that time. This current batch was a big improvement. I'm going to try curing and drying a small (1 1/2 lb) beef eye of round into bresaola after the holidays using this same set-up, and we'll see how it goes and if case hardening is a problem or not.

    Thanks again for checking out my post, and have a great day!!
  10. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Mick!

    Wow, thank you very much for the compliments!!

    And you and I are totally on the same page regarding the bitter greens. I've got some folks coming over for dinner next week, and my planned starter course is a salad using bitter greens with duck prosciutto and sliced pear. I'll be pulling out the confit for this meal too, but haven't totally decided how I am going to serve it.....I'm torn between serving it shredded with pumpkin gnocchi and sauteed chard, or going more french country and serving it with warm green lentil salad, and a potato/parsnip puree. Thoughts?

    Thanks again! Hope you have a great day!
  11. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good morning, Leah!

    Don't you just love color? I love a colorful plate, it makes me really happy. Although I think I was channeling you when I plated dinner as I seem to have arranged my prosciutto to look like an octopus! :biggrin:

    Thank you so much for your compliments and following my post! I hope you have a great Friday and weekend!
  12. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Gnocchi my pick, al day.
    I pick some wild greens here mostly from the thistle family then add shop bought things like chicory , endive ,rucola.
  13. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We had some friends over for dinner tonight where I served up the duck confit and the 2nd breast of duck prosciutto. It was a great dinner, I'm really happy with how it came out.

    Starter course was butternut squash crostini: butternut squash puree, whole milk ricotta cheese, toasted hazelnuts, and a drizzle of balsamic butter reduction.

    Here is the duck prosciutto all thinly sliced and ready to go.

    Second course was duck prosciutto and pear salad with mixed greens, feta cheese, toasted hazelnuts, and pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette.

    Here is the duck confit pulled out of the fat and ready to heat up for serving. It has been aging in my refrigerator completely covered by duck fat since November 17th, so almost exactly 1 month. I heated it up in a 425 deg F oven for about 12 minutes. The fat that I used for storing the duck confit in the refrigerator will be filtered and stored back in my freezer until I make duck confit again. It can be reused over and over until the fat is too salty to reuse.

    Main course was the duck confit served on a french green lentil salad. I had originally planned to serve the confit with something fancier like butternut squash gnocchi, but I ran out of time and opted for the easier lentil salad.

    The confit was so moist and flavorful. The saltiness level was just perfect, and the meat was so tender and succulent it could easily be forked off the bone.

    Dessert was a mixed berry crisp (blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry) that I made using berries that I froze this summer. Served with vanilla ice cream.

    Overall I'd have to say that this was one of the best meals I've ever made. The prosciutto and the confit were absolutely delicious.

    This wraps up My Duck Post. Thanks to everyone for reading it and sticking with me!

    Happy Holidays!
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Beautiful meal, and I am sure it tastes better than it even looks. Truly impressive Clarissa, I mean the chef, the meal is beyond compliment.

    Amazing M'Lady. I am in complete awe of your art.
  15. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is a reason these dishes are classics. You have illustrated why and inspired us mere mortals. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  16. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Many thanks for the glowing compliments, Foam!! This duck project turned out much better than I thought it might.....I'm definitely getting a couple of more ducks very soon and will repeat the prosciutto and confit.

    Thanks again for reading my post and Happy Holidays!

    Hi Disco, thank you so much! I really appreciate your compliments and for following my post!

    Happy Holidays!
  17. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is classic French farmhouse cookery,existed long before all the fancy smancy stuff & will be remembered & reproduced long after I am gone.
    In some ways it pre dates refrigeration, that cured duck would busted out in spring when the wild( free) greens were in season,the confit leg in winter.
    I just love the fact that Clarissa has the skills to show case this style of cookery, like that great Aussie band ACDC sang " I tell you folks its harder than it looks,'s a long way to the top if you want to rock & roll"
    This is real all round skill.Its also a bit rock & roll .
  18. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The salad I could eat now the rest a bit heavy when tomorrow is going to go over 40c.
  19. Clarissa, your friends must want to damn near move right in!!!! WOW!

    Such a beautiful dinner and fantastic arrangement and such rustic and authentically "culinary" creations you have here! BRAVO to you!

    And the pictures are gorgeous!!!

    Happy Thursday! Your posts are just sensational to see! Cheers! - Leah
  20. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    MMMMMMMM!!!! That looks fantastic!! Nice work Clarissa! Your guests were very lucky!

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