Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Parma Duck

No I don't think I can call it Parma Duck since it doesn't come from Parma and there is probably a protection on this particular name anyway... but in the same way that Parma Ham is a cured meat so is my version of it made with duck breast.

Firstly.  Take a duck breast and remove the skin.  Except I couldn't remove the skin because it was so firmly attached to the very thin layer of fat and I wanted to keep the fat layer.  Ideally you will ask for a really fatty duck breast - or grow your own.  The fat is quite important for the flavour.

Wash and dry the duck breast thoroughly.  Then mix together a large amount of slightly chunky sea salt and some fresh thyme.  Coat the duck in this and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours.  Give it a turn or a squidge around in the salt a couple of times during this period.

You will see a lot of moisture/water comes out of the breast.  After the 24 hours is up rinse off all the salt and thyme and again dry the duck breast thoroughly.

Wrap the breasts in clean (previously boiled is good) muslin and tie with string.

Hang it up in the fridge so that the air can get all around it and leave it there for two weeks.

Ah the joy of having an empty fridge just for special projects like this.

The duck can then be cut very very thinly and served on canapes or toast or with a salad for a light and tasty lunch.

The outdoor fridge comes into its own for things like this.

Sadly mine was still a little salty.  The error.... My sea salt was fine not chunky and it obviously penetrated the duck while curing during the first 24 hours.  I was quite disappointed but this was my fault not the recipe... sometimes you can cut corners and play fast and loose - which I do, often, but on this occasion it didn't work.  Hey ho... this is how a cook learns.