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)
teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
shallot, thinly sliced
cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
dried cherries, coarsely chopped
fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley
In This Recipe
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.