Arroz De Peru (Baked Turkey Rice Casserole)

The day after Thanksgiving dilemma: what to do with the leftover Turkey?  There are only so many sandwiches you can eat and so many turkey pot pies your family will endure before they order out for food.  I came up with an easy alternative that won’t take you too long to make: Baked Turkey Rice Casserole.  Classic Portuguese cuisine features a rich dish made of duck and rice.  The dish originated in Braga at a monastery that cooked the meal for the poorest families and townsfolk from the village.  It is one of the most iconic dishes in the Portuguese culinary repertoire.   The duck is boiled with onions, carrots, garlic, celery and bay leaves (sometimes Vinho Do Porto) to create a rich broth that you eventually use to cook the rice.  The duck is then cooked with more vegetables and other ingredients and this is used as a filling for what eventually becomes baked rice casserole.  I have substituted Turkey here which is very close to the flavor and texture of duck.  In the interest of time I have omitted making the Turkey stock from scratch since it is likely that the Turkey is already cooked from the previous day’s festivities.    If you have leftover Turkey stock for the Thanksgiving stuffing (as my recipe for Thanksgiving meal on this site indicates) you can use this or otherwise just make chicken stock.  If you are in a real pinch use the store brought variety although the flavor won’t be as good.  I  I brush the top with egg wash because it makes the top layer of rice super crispy.  I like to serve with some good Portuguese bread and a side salad.

 

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