Don’t worry—you don’t need to buy a suitcaseful of whole ducks. Use Moulard duck breasts (available at dartagnan.com). Once cured, slice them very thinly and serve with a salad or garnish with tart blueberry preserves, fig chutney, or pickled raisins from Boat Street Pickles (murrayscheese.com).
Makes 810 servings
1-pound boneless Moulard duck breasts with skin
1/2 cups kosher salt
cup (packed) dark brown sugar
juniper berries, cracked
bay leaves, crumbled
teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Ingredient info: Look for juniper berries in the spice section of better supermarkets. Smoked paprika is available at better supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and latienda.com.
Using a small knife, trim all but a 1/8″ layer of fat from each duck breast; reserve fat for rendering. Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
Arrange 2 sheets of plastic wrap side by side on a work surface. Spread 1 scant cup salt mixture (do not pack) in center of each sheet, spreading mixture to match the size of the duck breasts. Top each with 1 duck breast, fat side down. Spread remaining salt mixture over meat, dividing equally. Bring plastic wrap up and over each duck breast, wrapping tightly. Place on a small rimmed baking sheet, fat side down, and refrigerate for 7 days to cure.
Unwrap duck breasts. Scrape off salt mixture (do not rinse). Using a long, sharp knife, thinly slice meat.