Charcutepalooza: Documenting for the sake of documenting

February 17, 2011
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I’m working on the brine for March’s Charcutepalooza challenge. The basic challenge is a brined whole chicken or pork chops, the advanced one is a corned beef brisket.

Right now we’re sufficiently meat-ed out, so I’m opting for a basic-and-a-half challenge, and brining a duck. (Yes, this is the one I was originally going to make prosciutto out of, but I just cannot yet find a decent spot to do that, so it’s getting back-burnered until later.)

This is what I’m brining it with:

American Melting Pot Duck Brine

  • 5 1/2 quarts water
  • 1/2 c. Blend 1776 black tea (maple-strawberry, and safe to overbrew — does not get bitter)
  • 1 c. kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. maple sugar
  • 2 tangerines, squeezed into the pot, rinds added to the pot
  • around 30 peppercorns
  • about a head of garlic, separated into cloves
  • half a large onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 blades of mace
  • 1 bunch cilantro (homegrown)
  • 1/2 smoked habañero (homegrown)

The duck will go in the brine tonight, get pulled out tomorrow morning, and then be smoked if weather permits, and roasted if not.

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