Portuguese African rice

Portuguese African rice
  • Main
  • easy
  • 1
  • 15 minutes, plus 90 minutes for the chicken skin



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This dish was supposedly created at a restaurant in the Algarve, when one of the chefs served up a simple rice dish for staff meals. Many kitchen workers in traditional Portuguese restaurants were from the country's African colonies, hence the name.

It was so beloved that it soon made its way onto the restaurant's main menu, and has been a customer favourite ever since. Given that the original recipe is a closely guarded secret (and there are countless variations depending on who's cooking it), we had to take inspiration from our visit to the Algarve.

Place the chicken skin in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, then drain and allow to cool. While the skin cools, preheat an oven to 165°C/gas mark 3
Lay the skin flat on a tray and roast for 20-30 minutes, until crisp and golden brown (do not allow the skin to catch and blacken, otherwise it will taste bitter). Allow to cool completely, then break into shards and set aside in an airtight container
For the rice, add the chorizo, onion and pepper to a frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, until the chorizo crisps up and releases its oil and the onions soften and become slightly translucent
Pour in the cooked rice and stir well to combine, then cook for 1 minute to warm through. Add the Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock, followed by the plantain. Cook until well combined and warmed through
Add the peas along with half the parsley and cook for a further few minutes until the peas have defrosted and warmed through. Transfer to a bowl, dress with the lemon juice and garnish with the remaining parsley
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