Traditionally, this is made with whatever meat the hunter lugs home at the end of a day. Hare or rabbit is most common, but since neither are readily available to most of us, I've used duck. The blood of the catch is usually stirred in at the end, but I've used red wine, chocolate and egg yolk instead, as suggested by Elizabeth Luard in the engaging The Food of Spain and Portugal.
This reminds me a great deal of our local claypot rice, which is in no way a bad thing. Indeed, this is time consuming, but not too difficult.
For the stock
- 1 whole duck, about 1.5 kg, quartered, each rubbed with a teaspoon of coarse salt
- 1 carrot, peeled and halved
- 1 onion and celery stick, quartered
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns and salt
- 1 litre water
For the rice
- 750ml Jasmine rice (I use Royal Umbrella Rice here)
- 175ml young red wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 40g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- A bunch of coriander, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
The night before
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Sit the duck joints with the neck and giblets in a roasting tin and bake for 45 ? 50 minutes. Spoon or tip out excess fat midway. When the duck is bronzed and crinkly, plunk it and the remaining stock ingredients into a stock. Simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until meltingly tender. Remove the duck joints, finely shred and store in an airtight container. Strain the stock into a large bowl. Chill both.
The next day
Skim and discard the fat accrued on the top of the stock. Let the duck return to room temperature, slicking the shards in a little stock.
Brown the onion in the oil in a casserole pot and then sprinkle in the paprika and the rice. Fry for a minute before adding the stock. Cover for 15 minutes or till the rice is cooked.
Meanwhile melt the chocolate into the red wine in a saucepan. Drop in the egg yolk and stir. When the rice is cooked, stir in this wine-y emulsion. Remove half the rice, add the shreds of duck, and return the removed rice, sandwiching the duck in between. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes. Sprinkle over finely chopped coriander or spring onions.
Arroz com abaixar-se (Duck Rice)
Stories and photos copyright © Bryan Koh, unless otherwise stated. Not to be reproduced without permission from the author.