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Cured duck

Thu, 23 July, 2020

Salt, brown sugar and spice cured duck breast adds bags of umami to your diet, and extra protein to keep you sated and full sooner.

cured duck breast

Protein is the key to fullness

Apparently, we cannot get sated until we have consumed enough protein for our body’s needs. That means we can eat and eat, slice after slice of cake, bucketfuls of rice, salad and broccoli, chocolate covered avocados and oats on toast and we’ll still feel peckish.

Why can't we get enough?

It goes some way to explain the obesity explosion fuelled by processed foods and snacks: to reach our target amount of protein, we stuff ourselves with more and more carbs and fat because the proportion of protein content in processed foods is too low to satiate. Plus apparently we have five different appetites, for protein, carbs, fats, sodium and calcium. To satisfy them all we need to eat more and more and more, in quantities, if our diet is unevenly balanced.

home cured duck prosciutto

Separate stomach for sweets

That also throws light on a few other things: like my friend who claims she has a separate stomach for dessert – having devoured a three-course dinner she’ll still grab the desserts menu. (Annoyingly, she’s ultra-skinny.) Or my Ryvita addiction: I intend to have a slice or two, thinly buttered, as a sensible snack and end up returning to the cupboard and butter dish five more times. The five-appetites research suggests that if I put a sliver of chicken on my Ryvita, I’ll stop much sooner, happily full.

Does protein make you thin?

And so it goes: lean and tasty protein added to your meal can make you thin – that’s the only example where more is less. Joking aside, I was thinking of a nice snacking meat to nibble on or include in my lunch and came up with this: cured duck.

cured duck ham

Can you cure duck meat at home?

Yes, you can cure all kinds of meats at home and no, it’s not risky as long as your meat comes from a responsible source. Just like fish, salmon gravadlax in particular, a couple of days of salt and sugar will work on the duck meat, rendering it beautifully dark, smoky and tender. Duck prosciutto, duck jamón, charcuterie du magret, whatever you fancy calling it – if you’re a fan of air-dried, salt-cured, ‘raw’ meats, this is a winner.

How to spice the curing mix?

The spicing is up to anyone’s preference but (you knew I’d say that) my combo of aniseedy fennel and tingling-hot Sichuan pepper is a winner, too. One duck breast, a double winner then. Double also the quantities if curing more than one but it does go a long way – to satisfy your protein appetite no least.

Cured duck

Time: 96 hours
Rating: (1 reviews)


  • 1 duck breast
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 130g coarse sea salt
  • 7g (2 tsp) Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 3g (1 tsp) fennel seeds, crushed


1. Score the fat lightly without cutting into the meat.

2. Mix the sugar, salt, peppercorns and fennel. Prepare a bowl or dish to snugly fit the duck fillet.

curing mix

3. Spread about a third of the curing mix at the bottom of the dish, place the duck fillet in skin side up and cover completely with the remaining mix. Cover the dish with cling film and refrigerate for 3 days.

how to cure duck meat

4. After the 3 days remove the duck fillet and rinse it thoroughly with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels, place on a plate skin side down and refrigerate for 24 hours to let it dry.

cured duck meat

5. To serve, carve very thinly.

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Clyde - yes it is, as I say above, if you like air-dried, salt-cured, ‘raw’ meats and charcuterie.
4 years ago
Carve very thinly... And then what?? Is this for eating?
4 years ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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