Perdeli Pilaf with Duck Confit, Raisins and Pine Nuts
Perdeli pilaf was a favourite on the Sultan’s table. Perdeli means curtain or veiled, so this pilaf is also known as veiled pilaf. Most recipes for perdeli pilaf are made with flaky puff pastry, but my way is to use light and crispy yufka pastry instead. It is almost always prepared in a round shape and cut into wedges when served.
Hidden away in the suburb of Edirnekapı in Istanbul is the Asitane restaurant, renowned for fine Ottoman cuisine based on dishes that were served at a feast given by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1539. This is a delicious variation on that theme. Confit is any meat slowly cooked in fat and it really is worth using. Duck confit can be bought in tins, or you can make it yourself. Alternatively, use conventionally roasted duck legs.
|4||duck legs, confit|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|4||shallots, finely chopped|
|2||garlic cloves, crushed|
|250g||baldo rice or short-grain rice|
|1 tsp||hemp seeds|
|1 large sheet||of yufka pastry, approx. 60 x 60cm, or filo pastry|
|15g||clarified butter or ghee|
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/gas mark 6.
Remove the meat from the duck legs and shred. Discard the skin and bones.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the shallots and garlic for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and raisins, coating thoroughly with the oil. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the rice is done but still moist. Allow to cool a little, then add the pine nuts and hemp seeds, and combine well.
When working with yufka pastry, just as you would with filo, make sure you keep it under a damp cloth, otherwise it will dry out and break easily. Lay out the yufka sheet, spoon all the pilaf mixture into the centre and scatter the duck meat on top. Fold the yufka edges into the centre to enclose the mixture and make a parcel.
Heat the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and carefully place the yufka parcel directly into the pan. Cook on a low to medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the pastry is golden and crispy. Using a large, flat, slotted spoon, carefully turn it over and cook on the other side for a further 2-3 minutes.
Then place the pan in the oven and cook at 180°C fan/gas mark 6 for 5-6 minutes.