Arroz de pato is a traditional Portuguese dish
This dish was created in northern Portugal, in the city of Braga. The dish quickly gained popularity all over the country and is now offered at many restaurants from the north to the south and in Portuguese communities all around the world. It’s also a popular Sunday family dinner.
Is it hard to make arroz de pato? Does it take long?
It’s not complicated at all. It is, however, time consuming.
In a nutshell, you brown the duck, slow-cook the duck to flavour it, make a delicious broth, cook the rice in the broth, and then finish off the dish under the broiler.
These are all easy steps, but they do require a bit of time. This is a perfect weekend dish, but is less ideal as a quick weeknight meal after work.
The inspiration behind this Portuguese duck rice
The last time we had this meal was at my cousin’s house when we visited Portugal a little over a year ago. We enjoyed this wonderful dish in Viana do Castelo, in northern Portugal, at his beautiful home.
My cousin and his family treated us so well! They took us to many places around their region, and even to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Food was definitely a highlight for us during our stay. They really went above and beyond to make it a visit we’d never forget.
As much as we loved the food we ate out, they treated us to some mind blowing homemade meals too. Not only are they fantastic cooks, they also grow vegetables and fruits and raise some animals. It’s the ultimate farm-to-table experience. The duck they cooked for their Arroz de pato dish was raised on their little farm. Crazy fresh, right?!
We have such fond memories of our time with our family in Portugal, and we certainly miss travelling! Remember those days… when we could travel? Thanks to the pandemic, travelling has been put on hold. But, we’re hopeful that brighter days are ahead and we’ll get to see more of our country and the whole world, eventually, including to get back to visit Portugal again.
Perfect for guests or leftovers
As I mentioned before, this is a popular Sunday meal in Portugal. It’s not surprising. It’s perfect comfort food and the recipe makes a portion large enough to serve a big family gathered around the table together.
If you don’t have a large family, you can still make the same portion and have delicious leftovers for your next dinner or work lunches. That’s a worthwhile compromise — more time in the kitchen on the weekend and a quick dinner re-heat after a long day at work during the week. You’re sure to make today, and even the next few days, yummy!
Portuguese duck rice – arroz de pato
- 1/2 raw duck cut into 6 to 8 pieces
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole cooking onion sliced
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 large carrot peeled and roughly cut into large pieces
- 1 whole Portuguese chouriço about 12oz or 340g
- 1 piece toucinho (or smoked bacon or pancetta) chopped (7oz or 200g)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 6 cups water or enough to cover the duck
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 1/2 cup black olives
- Fresh parsley roughly chopped (for garnish over the cooked dish)
- In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, heat a 1/4 cup olive oil on medium to medium high heat.
- Add the pieces of duck, skin side down and cook until browned on the first side, roughly 2 to 3 minutes.
- Turn the duck pieces over and brown for another 2 minutes.
- Remove the duck pieces and place them on a plate.
- Add the onions to the dutch oven and sauté for about 1 minute.
- Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or until the onions are soft.
- Add the white wine and scrape the stuck on bits of duck from the bottom and edges of the pan.
- Add the salt and pepper.
- Cook the wine for about 2 minutes.
- Place the pieces of duck back in the pot.
- Add the chouriço, toucinho, carrots, bay leaf and water.
- Bring to a boil and place the lid on the pot.
- Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 50 minutes.
- While the duck is cooking, place the rice in a large mesh sieve and wash under cold water for about 1 minute.
- Place/fit a bowl under the sieve, fill it with water until the rice is submersed, and let the rice continue to soak until it’s needed later in the recipe.
- Once the duck is cooked, use tongs to remove the duck pieces, toucinho and chouriço from the broth onto a plate and let cool.
- Strain the broth from the pot into a large measuring cup or bowl.
- Discard the remaining ingredients.
- In a medium or large pot, heat 4 1/2 cups of the strained broth until it starts to bubble.
- Add the rice, bring to a light boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and let cook for 8 to 9 minutes.
- Preheat the oven on the broiler setting.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it rest covered for about 10 minutes. Don’t peak!
- Uncover the pot of rice and fluff with a fork.
- Once the duck has cooled down, shred/pull all the meat off the bones, and discard the bones. Set aside.
- Cut the chouriço into wheels and the toucinho in small bite-sized peices.
- In a large bowl, place the fluffed rice, shredded duck, 1/2 the chouriço wheels, toucinho pieces, black olives, and toss to mix all the ingredients well.
- Place the mixed duck ingredients in a large deep baking dish (we used a traditional red Portuguese clay dish).
- Place the remaining chouriço wheels over the rice in a decorative way. Be creative!
- Place the dish in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes or until the chouriço edges get a little crispy.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve. Enjoy!
Leave a Reply