The duck takes on a rich purple hue the longer it cures in the salt and sugar mix. This is the perfect starter and is an enchanting centrepiece to your homemade charcuterie plate.
Serves 6 – 9 as an appetizer.
- 3 duck breasts, skin on, quills removed
- 3 star anise
- Two 2-inch (5 cm) pieces cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coriander seeds
- 4 cloves
- 2 pounds (900 g) coarse pickling salt (about 3 cups/750 mL)
- 2 pounds (900 g) light brown sugar (about 2 cups/500 mL)
- 3 pears, unpeeled and sliced, to serve
- Recipe Sugar-cured onions
- Recipe Lemon curd
- Pluck any remaining feathers and quills from the duck breasts, and remove excess fat and any sinew. Set aside.
- In a spice grinder (or coffee grinder set aside for spices), process all of the spices—the star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, coriander, and cloves—until almost a fine powder. In a bowl, mix the pickling salt, brown sugar, and the spices.
- Spread one-third of this mixture in a shallow dish or baking sheet a little larger than the 3 duck breasts. Lay the duck on top. Use the remaining mixture to completely cover the duck. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- To serve: Rinse the salt and sugar mixture from the duck using cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Using a very sharp knife, cut into thin slices. Serve with the cured onions, lemon curd, and pear. (Extra portions of the breast can be frozen. Wrap tightly in several layers of plastic wrap, and freeze in resealable plastic bag.)
Recipe for Lemon Curd here.
Recipe for Sugar Cured Onions here.