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Chilorio de pato by Adam Pawlak


Makes 12 small tacos

Cooks In

Over 60 minutes

Chilorio is a dish from Sinaloa in northern Mexico in which meat – usually pork, but sometimes beef or chicken – is simmered in an ancho chilli sauce. Adam Pawlak, Head Chef at Taqueria, has created a delicious, richer version substituting duck and using Cascabel chillies instead of Ancho. Chilorio can be used as a filling for tacos and burritos or as a main dish served with white rice, black beans and guacamole.


  1. Place the duck legs in a saucepan for which you have a lid and which is large enough for them to lay flat. Cover with water (around 1cm above the duck) and the ½ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover and cook for about one hour.
  2. De-stem and de-seed the Cascabel chillies, then soak them in a cup of hot water with the Chipotle and Guajillo flakes.
  3. When the duck is barely tender, remove the lid and turn up the heat to boil away the liquid. You will begin to hear the duck frying in its own fat. Remove the pan from the heat, place the duck legs on a plate to cool and decant the duck fat to a bowl for later. Keep the pan – don't clean it!
  4. Add one tablespoon of the duck fat to a frying pan and, when hot, fry the onion and garlic until golden. Place in a jug that can be used with a stick blender. Add the chillies along with their soaking liquid, Mexican oregano, cumin and cider vinegar to the jug and blend to a smooth purée. Push this through a sieve into a bowl and set aside.
  5. When the duck is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, bones and shred the meat. In the original saucepan (reserved from cooking the duck legs) add around one tablespoon of reserved duck fat. When medium hot, add the shredded meat and fry until soft and just starting to colour. Lower the heat, add the chilli purée, stir and simmer covered for around half an hour. Add a little more water if necessary and cook until meat is completely tender. Add salt to taste.
  6. Serve on small soft corn tortillas with your choice of garnishes.