This recipe for Arroz de Pato comes from my Portuguese friend Ana. Since she sent me a few recipes to try, I have slowly been making more of them. All have been delicious and this was no exception! Usually I have seen duck rice served by Chinese restaurants and this is the Portuguese version. In addition there are some extra flavours such as chourico (chorizo) and fresh oranges. The recipe for Arroz de Pato originally comes from the blog 2foodtrippers. In fact, these amateur chefs and world travelers are American but they have lived in Lisbon, Portugal. Also, my Portuguese friend approved the recipe as sounding authentic. It was delicious and filling, and basically a meal all in one!
4 duck breasts, cut in half
2 smoked and cured chouriço
1 chunk of bacon (225g package of smoked bacon slices)
3 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves – 2 whole, 1 minced
2 carrots – 1 whole, 1 finely diced
1 large or 2 medium onions – 1/2 (or 1) unpeeled and quartered, 1/2 or 1 minced
1 cup white wine
2 1/2 litres of water (or more if necessary to cover the vegetables and duck when making the broth)
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 Tbsp Olive oil (to taste)
Thyme to taste (2 sprigs or 1/2 tsp of dried thyme)
2 sprigs of cilantro or small bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 cups long-grain rice
Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit (190° Celsius).
First, in a large stock pot, add the water, salt (I started with a pinch and you can add more later if needed). Next add pepper, cloves, mustard seeds, zest from 1 of the oranges, thyme and cilantro or parsley. Add the unpeeled onion and unpeeled garlic cloves, 2 of the bay leaves, whole carrot, the green leaves from the leek (washed and cut in 1-inch chunks), the chouriço, the bacon and the duck.
Bring the mixture to a boil and skim the dark foam as it develops on top of the broth. Keep the broth to a medium simmer and cook for 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove the duck, chouriço and bacon & place on a sheet tray. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve the carrot to eat on the side.
Shred the duck once it is cool enough to handle.
Cut 10 slices each of chouriço and bacon. Set the slices aside. Finely dice the remaining chouriço and bacon.
In a pot, combine the olive oil, the minced onions and garlic, the remaining bay leaf, the leek (the white part cut in thin slices), the diced carrots, and the diced chouriço and bacon. Cook for 5 minutes at medium heat. Add half of the shredded duck and cook for 3 more minutes.
Add white wine and let it cook until all the alcohol evaporates. Next, add the rice and stir everything together until just combined. Finally, add 1 litre of the duck broth, stir everything just until combined. Do not over stir! Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Bring to a boil and then let the rice simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
When the rice is almost fully cooked, transfer everything to an oven-proof baking dish large enough to hold the mixture. Smooth the rice into an even layer and place the slices of chouriço and bacon on top in a decorative pattern.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
While the duck rice is cooking, peel and slice the oranges.
Finally, serve the cooked duck rice with the sliced oranges and remaining shredded duck. Garnish with a parsley sprig.
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