• 4 duck breasts


  • 2 large oranges, zest peeled into strips
  • 4 star anise, crushed
  • a couple of pinches dried chilli flakes
  • 400g sea salt flakes
  • 120g brown sugar
  • small bunch thyme, leaves only


  • STEP 1

    Mix together the dry cure ingredients in a bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Lightly score the duck skins a few times with a sharp knife, making sure not to cut into the meat. Scatter enough cure mixture to cover the base of a dish that will fit the breasts snugly. Put the breasts on top of the cure, skin-side down, then cover with the remaining mixture. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 3 days – during this time the salt will draw out the moisture, leaving behind a wet brine.

  • STEP 3

    Rinse the duck thoroughly under cold running water to remove any salt then pat really dry with kitchen paper. The duck ham should feel firm when squeezed. Leaving the skin on, use a sharp knife to cut 1/2cm-thick slices to serve. Store the remaining duck hams in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 1-2 weeks.


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