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Pair with our Carneros Pinot Noir. As prepared by Chef Patrick Bui, Bui Bistro, Napa Valley, CA
Place the salt, sugar, black pepper, 5 spice powder in a bowl and blend. Hold one duck leg at a time over the bowl, Rub a generous amount of the mixture all over the leg, into the skin and flesh. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
The next day, unpack the duck legs and rub off mixtures with paper towels. Pat dry. Melt the duck fat or lard or both in a wide heavy-bottomed pot just big enough to hold the legs. Added the duck fat or lard or both should be submerged add the fresh thyme. Simmer for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hous , or until the meat browns, shrinks off the bone, and is very tender when pricked with the point of a knife. The fat should never go much above 220F during the cooking time. Remove the pot from the heat and let the duck cool in the fat to room temperature. You can eat the duck as it or transfer it to a storage container, cover with the strainer fat and chill until ready to use.
To serve the duck, pull a leg piece out of the fat, being careful not to pull the bone and leave the meat behind.
Heat a dry frying pan, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat and place the leg in the pan skin side down, to crisp up the duck and heat through before serving about 6 minutes.