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Persian Rice with Duck Confit and Dried Cherries


In this pielike Persian dish, the bottom layer forms a golden crust of basmati rice.

  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2010


  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear
  • 2 legs duck confit, skin removed, shredded
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons
  • 1 pound russet potatoes (about 2)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Bring water, cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons salt to a boil in a medium pot. Gradually add rice, stir, and cook until grains are tender but slightly firm in centers, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain rice; discard cinnamon sticks. Mix in duck confit, dried cherries, and melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Peel potatoes, and slice about 1/8 inch thick using a mandoline. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large (10-inch) pot or heavy skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium heat, swirling to coat. Arrange 3 layers of potatoes in pot in a circular pattern, overlapping slightly, working from the outside.

  3. Sprinkle cilantro over potatoes, and top with rice mixture, pressing down lightly to form an even layer. Place a cotton kitchen towel or a piece of cheesecloth directly on surface of rice, covering completely. Cover pot, and cook for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until potatoes are crisp and golden brown around edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove towel. Run a rubber spatula around edge of pot, and invert onto a serving platter.


On "The Martha Stewart Show," Martha prepares this recipe without the duck confit.

Cook's Notes

Duck pairs well with cherries, but you can substitute shredded chicken or leave out the meat entirely.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Sarafina865
    27 NOV, 2012
    This recipe is similar to "Albalu Polow" Rice with Sour Cherries. That dish is always made with chicken or Cornish game hens and the cherries have been soaked in a light syrup.
  • Sarafina865
    27 NOV, 2012
    I have to agree with honeyhone. You do not press down on the rice, nor put a towel directly on the rice. The Persian way is lightly bring the grains of rice into a cone shape, poke a few holes so the grains can expand and to tightly put a towel into the lid and have the towel overlap to the top of the lid. The lid needs to be tight so no steam escapes. The bottom rice is supposed to be crunchy, called "tadeeg". To serve the rice, place the rice on one platter and the tadeeg on another platter.
  • honeyhone
    28 FEB, 2010
    well, good for you! but, what im saying is that as for persian rice the important thing is that you can mage the rice well cooked but still not being sticked together!!!! thats the whole point of being a good chef for persian style rice!!!!! i did not mean to offend anyone!!! sorry! o by the way, if the towel is inside the pot then it would change the smell of the rice!!!!
  • BJtheChef
    24 FEB, 2010
    I have prepared this dish 3 times since seeing it on the show. My husband and his brother LOVED it. My husband makes Persian rice in a pot, but I don't see how this dish could be turned out onto a platter from a pot, without it falling apart. A towel wrapped around the lid of a skillet would be a bit too close to the fire for my liking. And also, pressing the rice down on this dish did no harm to the rice, and helped it retain it's shape when turned onto the platter. Thank you, Martha! from me,
  • honeyhone
    23 FEB, 2010
    and dear Martha, with all the respect, plz don't show something that you yourself don't know yet!!!! it is insulting!!! thank you.
  • honeyhone
    23 FEB, 2010
    come on! that is NOT the way of cooking Persian Rice! first of all, yes sometimes you need more than 4 min depending on the rice type. secondly, it is much better to use a pot rather than a frying pan! and you should wrap the pot's lid with a clothe, NOT putting the clothe in the pot!!!!!! and you should never stir the rice while boiling and never ever press the rice in the pot! it makes the rice breaking to small pieces which makes the whole dish looking awful!
  • Foodsnob27
    22 FEB, 2010
    The rice needs more than 3-4 minutes - more like 10-15 minutes. Mine was very crunchy!
  • pastrynomad
    23 JAN, 2010
    I made this today (vegetarian version), a unique dish! Check out my comments at