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

  • ¾ 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.

Cook's Notes

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


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

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