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Portuguese Duck Rice ❦ Arroz de Pato

Arroz de pato, duck rice, is a very traditional recipe from Portugal. The duck is poached in water infused with ingredients to make it fragrant. The poaching liquid is then strained and used to cook the rice. The duck meat is shredded and layered in an oven casserole, topped with your favourite cured meats, like chouriço, and finished in the oven until golden. It is such an easy dish. I have added a few non-traditional touches, which make my recipe even more indulgent and delicious. You can use a whole duck if you wish. It will not alter any quantities for the recipe. It will make a stronger tasting stock. Since duck isn't my favourite, I actually prefer a less pronounced gamey duck flavour, so I use 2 skin-on breasts and 2 whole legs. It is easy, faster and still yummy.


Portuguese Duck Rice❦ Arroz de Pato

Serves 6

Total time About 2-1/2 hours

13x13 oven-safe dish

For the poaching stock and duck prep:

1.5 L. Water

2 Skin on duck breasts

2 Skin on /bone-in whole duck legs

1 Carrot, roughly chopped

75 g. Chouriço, (Chorizo) casing removed and cut into large pieces

2 Bay leaves, whole and edges torn

2 Sprigs of rosemary, whole

4 cloves of garlic, whole

1 tbsp. Tomato paste concentrate

1 tbsp. Coarse sea salt

150 g. Bacon, whole or cut up

150 ml. Dry red or white wine, I used white as that is what I had to hand, but red is preferred.

100 ml. Ruby Port wine (optional but amazing)

1 tsp. Sweet paprika, pimentón dulce

1 tsp. Ground ginger

For the rice:

250 g. Parboiled (easy cook) long-grain rice

750 ml. of reserved duck stock, if you do not have enough just add water to make up the shortfall

60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil

1 Carrot, peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 Onion, diced

1 Celery rib, chopped

2 Garlic cloves, finely minced

6 Dried apricots, finely chopped

1 tbsp. Red or white wine vinegar

70 g. (about 18) Black pitted olives or any variety you prefer.

200 g. of chouriço slices or any combination to your liking of chouriço slices, morcela (black pudding), prosciutto or bacon, to decorate the top of the rice before baking.

I used all of the above, but you can use just chouriço.

1 Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves and stalks divided.

Chop leaves to stir into finished rice. Chop stalks and add to rice while it cooks.

*Extra flavour hit: (optional not traditional but very popular)

250ml. of béchamel sauce, homemade or store-bought. I used store-bought.

250 g. Grated mozzarella cheese

For the duck and stock:

1. In a large stockpot, add olive oil and heat on high. And duck, skin side down, and fry until skin is golden and crisp. About 3 minutes, flip and let fry 2 more minutes. Remove to plate and reserve.

2. To the same pot, add bacon and let fry until crisp. Turn off heat and add duck back to pot with bay leaves, chouriço, carrot, garlic, rosemary sprigs, paprika, ground ginger, salt and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Turn heat to medium, when it starts to sizzle, add the wine and ruby port.

3. Cover pot and let simmer for 45-50 minutes, duck should be fork-tender and falling off the bone.

4. Once cooked, strain through a sieve and reserve liquid.

When the duck is cool enough to handle, shred meat into a bowl and discard skin and bones. Also, retrieve chouriço chunks cut up and add to shredded duck meat. Set aside.

To make the rice:

1. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil on medium heat and add onion, celery and carrot. Sauté gently, while stirring, until the onion is light golden brown. About 4 minutes. Add vinegar and stir.

2. Add garlic, chopped parsley stalks, and rice.

Stir and pour in reserved duck stock.

Lower heat to a simmer. Let rice cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Stir often.

Once cooked, stir in chopped parsley leaves and apricots.

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 390°f.

3. In your baking dish, add half the cooked rice. Top with the shredded duck and chopped chouriço.

*Add bechamel sauce and top with shredded mozzarella cheese (if using)

4. Top with remaining rice. Arrange chouriço slices and olives on top. (Can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months, thaw completely before continuing to oven step below.

5. Place in the centre of pre-heated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden.

Serve immediately with a green salad or vegetables of your choice.

Add apricots near end of cooking time

Oven ready

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