Grilling outside in winter poses obvious challenges, but using a grill pan indoors still lends poultry a smoky taste. Aromatic tea helps cut the richness of these crispy grilled duck legs, and I like to use an Asian-inspired spice blend to emphasize the dish’s citrus flavors. For a lower fat and more cost-efficient option, switch chicken for duck.
4 medium duck legs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped lavender
1 tbsp lemon or orange tea
4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine
Zest from 1 lemon
One 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Tea Spice Blend
Tea Spice Blend
1 1/2 tbsp lemon or orange tea
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp mild chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
Tea-Poached Bok Choy
Zest and juice from 2 lemons
2 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, cut in half
One 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup pearl onions, peeled and cut in half
1 tbsp chopped lavender
1/2 cup water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
2 lemon or orange tea bags
2 scallions, white and light green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 baby bok choy, cut into quarters
To Make Tea Spice Blend:
1. Combine the tea, ginger, garlic powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
To Make Tea-Poached Bok Choy:
1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the lemon zest and boil for 30 seconds. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, discarding the liquid. Bring another 1 cup water to a boil in the same saucepan. Add the strained zest and boil for another 30 seconds. Strain again, then finely chop the zest. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and pearl onions and saute until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lavender, water chestnuts, honey, salt, 2 cups water, and tea bags. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Add the scallions, lemon zest, lemon juice and bok choy and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags and serve.
To Make Duck:
1. Rub the duck legs with the olive oil. Place in a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Combine the lavender, tea, garlic, chicken stock, red wine, lemon zest, ginger, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and 2 cups water in a large deep pot and bring to a boil. Add the duck legs, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour, flipping the legs occasionally. Remove the duck legs and pat dry. Sprinkle with the tea spice blend. Discard the cooking liquid.
3. Heat a grill pan over high heat.
4. Place the duck legs on the grill, skin side down, and cook until caramelized, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook for another 3 minutes. Serve with tea-poached bok choy.