To make the brining liquid, combine all the ingredients except the duck and the glaze in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool completely (or chill in an ice water bath until cool).
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the ducks 1 at a time to the boiling water and poach for 3 minutes. Remove with tongs and add the ducks to the brine and weight with a small plate to submerge them. Refrigerate at least 24 hours, or up to 48 hours, turning the ducks occasionally.
Remove the ducks from the brine with tongs and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Pat dry with paper towels. Pour 1/4 cup of the glaze onto the top of each duck, rubbing to coat evenly. Refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours. During this time, spread 1/4 cup of glaze on each duck 3 times, every 6 to 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Remove the ducks from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
Spread 1/2 cup of the glaze over each duck, rubbing to coat evenly. Roast until deep golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F and roast until the skin is a deep mahogany color and the juices run clear, 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the roasting pan every 30 minutes to prevent the dripping glaze from burning. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
With poultry sheers, cut along either side of the backbone and remove. With a sharp knife, cut through the breastplate and remove the rib cage.
Place 1 duck half on each of 4 plates, drizzle with tea glaze, if desired, and serve.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the tea bags and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to a thick syrup, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Add the tea bags and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Remove the tea bags and discard. Let the glaze cool before using. (The glaze will keep for up to 1 month, refrigerated, in an airtight container.)
Yield: about 2 1/2 cups
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown and tender, 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Essence, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid and are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beer and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and until the mixture is almost dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cream, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of Essence, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and whisk well to blend. Add the cheeses and stir well. Add the bread cubes and let sit until the bread has absorbed the liquid, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with the butter. Add the bread crumbs, shaking to cover the bottom evenly. Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour and uncover. Continue baking until the pudding rises and is firm in the center, and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.
Let cool slightly before serving.
Yield: 6 servings