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With all the changes going on lately, cooking hasn’t been a happening thing for me, I’m afraid to say. With the work on the house, the moving from different AirBNB venues, vacation in Mexico, it’s all been a bit crazy.

But now we are in a fairly nice place, a fairly decent kitchen space, so I decided to treat ourselves to a dish I’ve made at least only once before–Duende’s Duck Fideos.

You start out with a bit of salt and peppercorns, a bay leaf, four duck leg quarters, and a trimmed carrot, a couple of ribs of celery, and a whole onion. Put it all in a pot and poach the duck legs for perhaps 45 minutes until cooked through. Discard the veggies to your compost pile, remove the duck legs to cool, and filter the remaining duck-infused broth into a pot to keep warm on the stovetop.

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After the legs have cooled, remove the skin to fry in a skillet till crisp which will be saved for a later garnish. Tear the cooked meat from the bones of the duck legs and cut into bite-size pieces. Combine in a large bowl along with some sweet, quartered chestnuts and a big handful of manzanilla or arbequina olives.

Grab a skillet and put about a quarter cup of olive oil in to heat (or in my case, a bit of quality rendered duck fat) and brown the Spanish Fideos noodles. Remove to a bowl.

If necessary (it will be), add a bit more oil or fat to the skillet and prepare your sofrito, a delicious base of onion, garlic, tomato, and parsley till gently caramelized. Reintroduce the fried Fideos into the mix, and start to add your duck broth. After several minutes your mix will look a bit soupy, and taste for seasoning and how well the noodles have cooked. Ideally you still want them a bit al dente.

Add the duck meat, olive, and chestnuts to the mix and stir till warmed through. Voila! Now, take a moment (if you haven’t already) and crack open a bottle of Rioja, cut some cheese, get a hunk of bread or crackers, and put them on a plate with a knife for a quick tapa or appetizer.

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Put the ‘Spanish pasta’ into a nice serving bowl, drizzle arrope over it, and sprinkle your reserved fried duck skin bits. Enjoy!

For the recipe, check this page out.

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