Arroz de Pato (Duck Rice)
George Mendes | Yield: 8
In a playful twist on Arroz con Pollo, George Mendes of the restaurant Aldea, combines duck confit and duck breast with seasoned rice, chorizo and olives.
- 2 Duck Legs
- 2 Magret Duck Breasts
- 1 cup calaspara rice
- 3 cups Duck Fat, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 cup Chorizo Sausage, sliced
- 2 1/4 cups duck stock
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tomato, peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons black olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole white peppercorn
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander
- 2 pieces star anise
- 1/4 bunch thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Season the duck legs with salt and pepper. Add one tablespoon of duck fat to a large pan over medium heat and sear both sides of the duck legs until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the 1/2 cup sliced onion, carrot, celery, 3 cloves and minced garlic to the pan and cook until tender. Create an herb sachet by combining coriander, white peppercorn, star anise, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf in cheesecloth and tying. Add the herb sachet to the pan and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Transfer to an oven-proof casserole. Heat 3 cups of duck fat in the pan and add duck legs and duck fat to the casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 6-8 hours, or until duck meat falls off the bone. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, pull the duck meat off the bone, discard the bones.
- Prepare the sofrito: Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet over medium-low heat. Sweat 1/4 cup of onion and 3 cloves of garlic, minced, until slightly golden brown. Add the saffron threads and cook for 2 minutes more. Increase heat to medium and add the diced tomato. Cook until all moisture is gone. Add the paprika. Remove from heat.
- Remove skin from duck breasts. Season duck breasts with salt and pepper. Vacuum pack the duck breasts with 1 tablespoon of duck fat and cook in water bath at 149 degrees for 20 minutes. Lightly coat the duck skin with olive oil and place on a sheet pan. Crisp in the oven until brown. Remove from oven.
- Prepare the apricot purée: In a medium saucepan, combine apricots with white wine and cook over medium-high heat until wine is reduced by half. Add the sherry vinegar, then purée in a food processor at high speed until smooth.
- Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Add the prepared sofrito in a heavy-bottomed rondeau or a wide shallow pot over medium-low heat. Add additional 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add rice, continuously stirring with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until toasted. Add 11/2 cup of duck stock and mix well. Let cook and stir continuously to avoid sticking for about 8-10 minutes. Remove rice mixture from pot and spread rice along the bottom of a large paella pan in even layer. Add the duck legs, chorizo, olives, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and flatten out again. Add 3/4 cup of duck stock and place in oven, uncovered. Cook for 7 minutes until rice is crisped around the edges and a browned, crusty layer of rice forms on the bottom of pan. Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
- To serve: Garnish with sliced duck breast, crisped up skin, and the apricot purée.