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Smoked duck breasts is one of the ingredients in famous French Landaise salad. Along with foie gras, it is one of the most expensive and most delicious ingredients in the salad. smoked duck breasts are difficult to find even in specialty food stores. In Austin, they are sometimes available in Central Market. Buying them online is easier, but in addition to its own high price there is price for delivery.
There is Cure!
Moulard Magret duck breast is the best we an get in the U.S., but my recipe below is for a regular Long Island duck available in every supermarket. Long Island ducks are sold frozen at HEB for $20-25 for the whole bird (depends on weight). And you get at least two more meals in addition to a meal with two breasts.
Many people do not realize how easy it is to make cured and smoked duck breasts at home. No special equipment is needed. Just 12 hours of curing in a mix of three basic ingredients, 48 hours for air drying in refrigerator, and you get a gourmet deli product to use for salads or main fancy dishes. Duck breasts taste good cured and air-dried, but if you own a Cameron’s stovetop smoker and slightly smoke them at the end, they’ll be extraordinary good.
Duck Breast: Cured and Smoked at Home
Servings: 2 breasts
for curing mix
- 2 oz kosher salt
- 0.5 oz brown sugar
- 1.5 tbsp molasses
In a shallow dish, mix coarse salt and sugar. Coat duck breasts with molasses and dip them into the sugar and salt on both sides, making sure they are equally covered. Place breasts one on top of another in a non-reactive container, close the lid and them cure for 12 hours refrigerated. Turn the container upside down after the first 6 hours of curing.
for air drying
Wash breasts under cold running and tap dry with paper towels. Roll them in cheese cloth and place in a container like shown in the picture — this way cold air can circulated around each breast. Do not cover with a lid! Place this container on the top shelf and let the breasts air dry for al least 48 hours or more if you want them drier.
That's how they will look at the end of drying.
Prepare stovetop smoker. Place 1 tbsp of cherry or apple wood chips.
Smoke cured breasts on the rack for about 7-8 minutes on high heat. Turn the heat off and open the lid as soon as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to let duck breasts cool quickly. Store them in an air tight container until ready to serve refrigerated for up to 1 week. If you need to store them longer, vacuum pack.
The time for curing and air drying in this recipe is based on average Long Island duck size. Adjust time accordingly for larger and more fatty ducks. You might also want to score Moulard Magret duck breast skin before curing.