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After using the legs for stuffing the duck neck and the livers and heart for some offal toast toppings, I broke into the high dollar cut, the breast, and, with it, made one of the best sandwiches that I have had in months.

In general, I am a sucker for substituting duck breast in cured meat applications. Whether it be prosciutto, ham, cretons, and bacon-ish meat, it was all very good, but the pastrami may be my favorite. The nice layer of fat on the breast compares pretty favorably to the fattiness of a brisket, but the richness and ease of cure distribution are obvious plusses to working with the duck.

To cure the breast, I used the same brine as used for regular pastrami, but on the advice of duck pastrami enthusiast, Chuck Sudo, I supplemented the rub of black pepper and coriander with pimenton and powdered garlic (2 parts black pepper:1 part coriander:1 part pimenton:1 part garlic). After applying the rub liberally, I smoked the pastrami over bourbon barrel wood for 3 hours. Instead of slicing and steaming, I simply sliced the pastrami.

Once sliced, I made a few sandwiches on a French roll (despite what Whole Foods calls it, it is not a baguette) with yellow mustard. It was awesome. It has really strong pastrami flavors to go along with the great smokiness. After a few trials with the rub being too coarsely ground, I took the spurs to it and it really paid off with a nice crunchy outside packed with flavor. This was a favorite.

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