Persian Rice with Duck Confit and Dried Cherries
In this pielike Persian dish, the bottom layer forms a golden crust of basmati rice.
- 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 (igourmet.com)
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons
- 1 pound russet potatoes (about 2)
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
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.
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.
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.