26 May 2019

Jambon de magret de canard

Salt-cured duck breast, in English. Or, to be fancier, duck breast prosciutto. In French, "ham of breast of duck" — as in the title of this post. It's easy to make, if you can get a boneless duck breast. But it takes nearly a month.

Most of that time is just waiting.The meat is not cooked — it's cured. Like air-, salt-, or smoke-cured ham. After salting, the duck breast, or magret de canard, is left to "cure" for three weeks in the refrigerator or in a cold cellar. You just roll it up, skin side out — or leave it flat, the way I did — and wrap it in a dish towel or cheese cloth. Leave it there for three weeks to mature and dry.

The first step, though, is to salt it down. Cover the magret in coarse sea salt and leave it to macerate therein for 48 hours, also in the refrigerator. Then take it out of the salt, wipe or brush the salt off, and put a generous amount of black pepper on it. You can also rub some dried herbs — thyme, rosemary, cumin, hot or smoked paprika, or whatever — onto the magret along with the pepper before you wrap it in the towel and put it back in the fridge or cellar for a long cure.

Wait three weeks. Take it out of the refrigerator. Unroll it (if you rolled it) and slice it thinly on a slant. Eat on bread or toast, or use slices as an ingredient in a salad or a pasta dish. If you've ever eaten French jambon crujambon de Bayonne, for example — or Italian prosciutto — jambon de Parme — well, you eat the duck breast "ham" the same way. You could even make French-style lardons out of it and use them in your cooking.

Jambon de magret de canard
( Duck breast prosciutto )

Recouvrir un magret de gros sel.
Placer le magret 48h au frigo.
Débarasser du gros sel.

Rouler le magret, peau à l'extérieur.
Oublier 21 jours le magret enveloppé
dans un torchon au frigo.
Le déguster en tranches
à la manière d'un jambon de pays.

Above is a recipe that I found on the French cooking site marmiton.org, and which I followed. The recipe in French is a shortened form of what I wrote in my post above.

Note: This is a reprise of a post that I first published in April 2011. In France, you can buy vacuum-sealed packages of sliced, cured, smoked duck breast at the supermarket. Also, smoked duck lardons...


  1. Oooooh! I'm totally doing this!

    1. Me too, with one of the magrets I just bought.

    2. I just found this video about making salt-cured magret on YouTube. The presenter shows some common-sense steps about trimming up the magrets before salting them, and recommends not salting them for more than 15 hours in the refrigerator. He says longer than that in salt will make the final result too salty, but I don't remember the jambon de magret I made all those years ago being overly salty. Otherwise, the method is very similar to the one I used in 2011.

  2. How did you like the taste? I'm used to the color of prosciutto; this is a rosier color. I'm sure it's great in a warm salad.

  3. I would be very surprised to find duck prosciutto at a supermarket here, although I wish we could.

    1. It is probably too fancy for the US!

  4. It seems easy enough to do. I bet the taste is great.

  5. Hmm. Well, I would have never thought of this being "a thing" :) Makes sense, though, of course.
    Let us know how it turns out, when you do it with the current magret!


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