Duck & Chourico Arroz Refogado

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(Serves 6)

2 Tbsp olive, peanut or vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1″ piece ginger, chopped
1 tsp fresh turmeric, grated
pinch sea salt
6 cups duck or chicken stock
2 large duck breasts
3–4 raw (not cured) Portuguese chourico sausages (or substitute raw Mexican chorizo)
2 onions, finely chopped
3″ piece cinnamon sticks
6 green cardamom pods
1 tsp black peppercorns
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
3 cups basmati rice, washed, soaked, and left to drain in a strainer
3 Tbsp lemon juice
lemon slices, olives and finely-chopped coriander leaves


Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold the stock, and add the coarsely chopped onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until caramelized, then add stock. Simmer for as much time as you have available, up to an hour or so, then strain. Keep warm.

Score the fat of the duck breasts in both directions and season with salt and pepper. Place duck, skin side down in a pan over medium heat. Cook, adjusting heat as necessary, until the skin is crispy and golden brown and the flesh is still medium rare. (Halfway through the cooking process, remove as much fat as you can – so it doesn’t scorch – and reserve.) Turn the duck breasts over, and cook the flesh side for a minute or so until just lightly coloured. Remove from the pan let rest for about 10 minutes. Slice on the diagonal into 1/2” slices. Remove the skin from about 1/3 of the duck breast – use the least attractive slices – and chop coarsely. Set the sliced and chopped duck breast aside.

Duck-Chourico Rice Pilaf

Heat three or four tablespoons of reserved duck fat in a skillet and when hot, add and stir-fry the onion, cinnamon stick, cardamom and peppercorns until the onion is golden. Add the garlic and salt, reduce the heat to low, cover, and sweat the onions for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the chourico, and when cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2″ slices and set aside.

About 40 minutes before you intend to serve the rice, preheat the oven to 375°. Combine the rice and the onion mixture in a large paella pan, all steel skillet or flame-proof casserole, and cook, stirring gently, over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add a third of the sausage, the chopped duck meat and 5-1/2 cups of the hot stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and check for salt. Arrange the remaining sausages in a decorative pattern on top of the rice and place it, uncovered, on the lowest rack of the oven. Cook for about 25 minutes until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is just tender. (As with paella, a crust on the bottom is desirable; burning the rice is not – check frequently and add more stock or water and/or lower the heat if rice is drying out before it is cooked).

When the rice is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest, covered loosely with a kitchen towel. Set the oven on broil.

To assemble and serve, arrange the duck slices skin side up on the rice and re-crisp the skin by putting the pan under the broiler briefly.

Recipe Copyright © 2013, Don Dickson / South China Seas Trading Co. Limited