Don’t buy duck breasts. Buy the whole bird. You will feel more connected with your food when doing this. Breakdown the whole duck, make some soup out of the carcass and wings, confit out of the legs and freeze the liver for pate to be made once enough is accumulated. Rinse and pat dry your breast with good non-dollar store paper towels (trust me on this one). Snag a dish just large enough to hold the duck breast. Make a 1-inch bed of salt on said dish. Place the breast on the salt and cover it with about another inch of salt. Cover the entire situation with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. You can add orange rinds if you like.
In a small bowl, combine the coriander, fennel, and pepper. This would be the perfect time to make use of some of those pre ground spices sitting on the counter in one of those spice carousel’s you got as a gift. I would of course not recommend purchasing this antiquated product, but I for sure don’t condone just throwing it away either unless it is totally rancid. If you ar going to buy spices, you should always purchase whole seed spices, whole pepper corns and fresh herbs. Unwrap the duck breast and, holding it over the sink, rinse it with the vinegar to remove the salt and then rinse it under cold running water. Pat the duck breast completely dry and then rub it all over with the spice mixture.
Wrap the breast in cheesecloth and knot the cloth at both ends. Tie a piece of butcher twine on the top of the cheese cloth and tie the other end to the wire rack in the fridge. If your fridge has glass shelving, duct tape it. I could have done a cheesy little pun there but I think hinting at it works just as well. Place a small plate or dish beneath it. Let the duck cure until it feels firm but not dry, about 2 weeks. Thinner or smaller breasts will take less time.
Start checking after a week or so. Slice it as thin as possible Put this with some melon or on a salad and you are good to go.
If you are feeling ambitious, you can of course smoke your cured breast making duck bacon. That is just what i did (image above) with my pheasant from Chip and Carleen Hellis’ Fowl Mountain Farm in Dummerston.