This dish uses an Asian-inspired smoking technique to infuse duck legs with a subtle tea flavor, although the finished dish has an Italian slant. Fettuccine is boiled with tea bags so that the pasta has a delicate tea note that echoes the duck. The two tea-infused elements are brought together with ingredients that classically pair well with duck - shallots, mushrooms and cherries - along with a creamy sauce and a sprinkle of crunchy pistachio. This decadent pasta serves 2 as a satisfying main course, or 4 to 6 as a tasting-portion appetizer. —foxeslovelemons
duck legs (about 1 pound)
teaspoons kosher salt, divided
ground tea leaves (I took the leaves out of Lipton tea bags)
Rub duck legs with 2 teaspoons salt. Place on rack set over sheet pan, and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. (This step is very important because it allows the skin of the duck to dry out (form a pellicle), which allows the smoke flavor to adhere to the duck).
Preheat oven to 275°. Create a smoking chamber: Line a roasting pan crosswise with several sheets of foil, overlapping each sheet by at least 2 inches. The bottoms and sides of pan should be completely covered in foil; at least 18 inches of excess foil should extend over long edges of the pan. Scatter bay leaf, flour, sugar, tea leaves, rice and 1 teaspoon rosemary on bottom of foil-lined pan. Heat pan on stovetop over high heat until rice starts to smoke, about 2 to 3 minutes; remove from heat. Place roasting pan rack on foil above smoking ingredients; place duck legs on rack. Fold foil up and over rack and duck; fold and crimp to seal tightly (this process is a little tricky, but don't worry about it being perfect -if you need to, press an extra sheet of foil across the top to make sure the smoking chamber is sealed tightly). Roast 2 hours or until internal temperature of duck reaches 165°. Remove meat from bone and pull meat; set aside.
Heat large covered saucepot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add tea bags and pasta and cook as label directs; drain. Discard tea bags.
Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add shallot and mushrooms; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are deep golden brown, stirring frequently. Add cherries and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon rosemary; cook 1 minute. Add cream; heat to simmering over medium heat. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until cream is reduced by half. Reduce heat to low; stir in lemon juice and pepper. Stir in duck; cook 2 minutes or until meat is heated through. Add pasta to saucepan and gently toss.
Divide pasta mixture between warm pasta bowls; sprinkle with pistachios and parsley.