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Ask the fishmonger to clean the octopus for you. Wash well and tie the sides of the head over it, like a hood, cutting the tentacles into pieces.
Meanwhile fry the onion and parsley in the fat and oil for 3-4 minutes. Then add the fish, vinegar, chilli powder and enough boiling water almost to cover the octopus. Replace the lid and cook gently until tender (45-50 minutes or even longer), checking whether more liquid is necessary in the meantime.
When tender add the salt and boil again for 2-3 minutes. Lift the fish, set aside. Measure enough liquor, boil it for a little while, to reduce to the proper amount.
Add the rice and cook, until tender (about 25 minutes)
Bring to the boil, to reheat through, and serve with a side dish of black olives and chunks of crusty bread.
Variation: The addition of rice makes this dish more substantial, but it can also be served with chunks of crusty or slices of fried bread.
Note: Fresh octopus needs careful attention when cooking because it tends to harden if overcooked after the tender stage.
1 fresh octopus weighing about 2lb/900g
4tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 stalks parsley, chopped
2tbsp wine vinegar
1tsp chilli powder
14oz rice 400g
salt & pepper