Sunday, October 1, 2017


That's right another Duck recipe from me. An out of the box recipe no doubt. As most of you know I don't eat Pork which leads me to my next point of evolution in food. Since I don't partake in treif I'm on a constant and boundless quest to make the unusual. Transforming food is what I love to do. I like using the term Yiddisher Kop which means Jewish Head to describe what it is I do. Katshkecetta is Yiddish for Duckcetta if you were curious.

This recipe originated with my desire to replicate the treif version know as Pancetta. I did this twice before using both Veal and Beef. I used the Veal Navel Cut for this application and it was  magnificent. I called the Veal version Vealcetta. I also made a Beef version (Used Beef Navel) called Bovicetta. The veal version was much better than the Beef version. Anyhow I thought that Duck would be a great canvas for this grandiose of a recipe. Based on previous experiences I'm using the Muscovy Breast for this "Cetta". The Muscovy breasts are tasty and easy to work and should work well with this crazy concept of mine. You can check out my other Duck Cured meat recipes HERE. In this recipe I won't go into a huge amount of detail because it's virtually no different than my Vealcetta. 

As with most of my recipes there's always a need. Growing up in NYC and eating (PORK) was normal for me. Having a Sicilian Grandfather turned me on too many many different Italians foods which I miss and love. That being said I have not eaten any Treif in almost 18 years. About 8 months ago I saw a recipe being made on T.V. called, yup you guessed it Pasta Carbonara. I remembered eating this many times as a young man. Traditional Carbonara like the one my grandfather cooked was made with Pancetta or Guanciale. So with that I needed a meat that was high in fat and just tasted divine. Well we all know that's Duck. My Vealcetta would have been Ok but Duck is the best for this application in my opinion. All that Duck fat is heavenly. 
Here's my version of Pasta Carbonara with Duckcetta.

First things first- Measure out all your ingredients. Combine the Salt and Cure #2 in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Using a spice mill grind Whole Cloves, Mustard Seed and Fennel together and place in separate bowl. Measure out the remaining ingredients and place in same bowl as the Cloves, Mustard and Fennel......mix thoroughly. You should have two bowls.
Note: You will need Orange Zest too. not listed in recipe. 

Here is a beautiful picture of both sides of the duck. It's important that the skin is attached. We're going to roll this baby. 

Apply the Salt & Cure to the breast making sure to get it in every nook & cranny (skin side too). Next add orange zest all over the breast. I didn't add it to the skin side.

Anyhow take the other bowl that contains the other ingredients and apply the rub getting it into all the nooks & crannies. Vacuum seal and place in refrigerator for at least a week and up to about 12 days. It's an equilibrium cure so you can't really over cure the thing. Flip it over every day too.

After the 12 days of curing I removed the Duck from its plastic home and rinsed and patted them dry. Notice they're sitting on plastic wrap? Explanation coming.

What's all that white powder? That's called Transglutminase aka Meat-Glue. This stuff will allow us to roll that baby up tight and it will hold its shape. The proteins will bond in about 24 hours and it will become ONE perfectly shaped cylinder. 

This is an important part so pay attention. Using the plastic wrap we're going to roll the duck up extremely tight. The idea here is to roll the duck up so tight that all the proteins are connecting and there are no air gaps. As you roll up the duck a cylinder will form. You must keeping squeezing and stretching the plastic wrap to create a very tight cylinder. In the end I think I rolled it probably 20 plus times. During this process you will twist the ends and squeeze in.  

Keep squeezing the ends and tie off with butcher twine. It may require two of you to get this baby really tight. After your done Vac seal and refrigerate. It needs 24 hours for the proteins to bond and meld together. 

After 24 hours you have a perfectly shaped Duck cylinder. 
Now that's tight!!!!

Now place in a dry aging chamber or use a UMAI bag like I did until the Duck loses 30% of its green weight. 

Wow.....because of the fat content of the Duck this took 5 months to reach the proper weight. I was not expecting it to take this long. 

After the long haul the Duck was placed in a standard Vacuum bag to equalize. Ok what's this equalize thing? Equalizing just means that the moisture levels will have a chance to distribute evenly through the meat. As the meat dries we know that the outer layers are drier than the inner layers. Sitting in a vac bag for a few weeks will equalize the moisture. How long? It needs at least 4 weeks. So all in all this baby took 6 months to complete. Was it worth it? 

Here it is......... Review below gratuitous pictures. 

Review- Wow just amazing. From the flavors to the texture just absolutely divine. How does this compare to my other duck recipes? .....all I have to say is WOW!!! I'm blown away. I must say the texture is far superior to my Duck Prosciutto. With the Prosciutto I never considered rolling them up and now that I have I won't go back. I will use this techniques for all my future recipes.