Rich, juicy duck pairs beautifully with a sweet, fruit-based sauce—it’s a combo that’s about as classic as it gets. Our chefs decided to take things a step further by adding a bit of ancho chili powder to the mix, which creates a smoky, sultry mystique. The excitement only continues with the sides: pistachio-studded rice and tender roasted green beans. This is just the sort of dish we want to make when we’re feeling a little fancy.
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Ancho Chili Powder
• Adjust rack to top position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry produce. • Pat duck* dry with paper towels; season all over with salt and pepper. • Place duck skin sides down in a large, preferably nonstick, pan. Cook over medium heat until skin is crisp and most of the fat has rendered, 15-20 minutes, pouring off fat as it renders. (Don’t flip duck just yet.)
• Meanwhile, trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens. • Melt 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings) in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, 1 minute. • Stir in rice and ¾ cup water (1½ cups for 4). Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook until rice is tender, 15-18 minutes. • Keep covered off heat until ready to use in step 5.
• While rice cooks, trim green beans if necessary. Toss on a baking sheet with a drizzle of oil, salt, and pepper. • Roast on top rack until browned and tender, 12-15 minutes.
• While green beans roast, in a small bowl, combine jam, demi-glace, chili powder, and ¼ cup water. • Once skin is crisp, flip duck in pan. Pour in jam mixture and add dried cherries. Simmer until sauce has thickened and duck is cooked to desired doneness, 3-5 minutes. • Leaving sauce in pan, transfer duck to a cutting board. TIP: If sauce is too thick, add 1-2 TBSP water (3-4 TBSP for 4 servings).
• Reduce heat under pan with sauce to low and stir in 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4 servings) until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat and set aside. • Fluff rice with a fork; stir in pistachios. Season with salt and pepper.
• Slice duck crosswise. • Divide rice, green beans, and duck between plates. Drizzle sauce over duck. Garnish with scallion greens and serve.