Arroz de Pato – Portuguese Style Duck Rice

Arroz de Pato is an authentic Portuguese dish which has its roots in the North of Portugal, specifically the city of Braga. It combines some of the most symbolic elements of traditional Portuguese cuisine, bay leaf, garlic, wine, and of course rice.

Rice might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to Portugal, but rice and the country actually have a long history. It’s believed it was first brought to the country during the Moorish period, and it’s stuck around ever since. The rice used in Arroz de Pato is Carolino, one of the most common types available here in Portugal. It’s a short grain rice, similar to the famous Italian Arborio. It’s great for absorbing flavours and producing creamy dishes. Its preparation is similar to a risotto.

Carolina Rice for Arroz de Pato
Carolino Rice

Unlike many other duck recipes from around the world, Arroz de Pato adds smoked pork meat in the form of local chouriço. It’s added to the main broth, and served as a garnish on top of the dish. Speaking of the broth, if you ask any of the classic chefs in Portugal what the key to a successful arroz de pato is, they’ll tell you it’s all in the quality of the broth. The broth is both where you cook the duck, and later used to prepare the rice. It all forms an incredible meal with very little waste.

It’s safe to say that preparing and cooking this dish is not a quick endeavour, but we promise you it is worth it! A forkful of freshly prepared duck rice straight from the oven is worth every minute you spend in the kitchen!

Arroz de Pato Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 750g duck (breast, legs)
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup Ruby port wine
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 100g chouriço
  • 300g Carolino rice


  1. Place a frying pan over high heat. Once hot, place the duck pieces with the fat facing down, fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain the fat into a bowl and keep it. Reduce the heat to medium, add in the port wine to deglaze.
  2. Transfer the duck and the liquid to a tall pot, place it over medium to high heat. Meanwhile, prepare the ingredients for the broth: chop one of the onions in half, peel the garlic cloves and chop the carrot into thick slices. Place it into the duck pot, add the chouriço and the bay leaf. Cover it with boiling water. Season it with salt and black pepper, and let it simmer for 40 minutes.
  3. Remove the meat, the bay leaf and the chouriço from the broth, and keep to one side.
  4. With a hand mixer, blend the broth until smooth. With a sieve, strain it into a jug.
  5. Meanwhile, place a medium saucepan (preferably with a thick bottom) over medium heat, add in the fat reserved at the beginning. Dice the remaining onion and fry it until translucent. Add in the rice, fry it for about 2 minutes, then add a litter of the broth. Cook it for about 25 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and the liquid absorbed.
  6. Preheat the oven at 200°C, you can use the grill function if available with your oven.
  7. Remove the bones and skin from the duck, shred it. Slice the chouriço.
  8. In a small baking dish, layer half of the rice, add the duck meat and cover it with the remaining rice. Finish with a layer of chouriço slices. Pop It in the oven for 25 minutes.
Fried Duck Portuguese
Arroz de Pato Prep

This is one of our favourite recipes and our favourite way of eating duck in Portugal! Take a look in our recipe section for some other Portuguese recipes and let us know in the comments what you think!

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