*Makes 6 servings
8 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seed-toasted and ground
2 large shallots, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 bay leaves crumbled
6 fresh duck legs (5 pounds total)
2 whole cloves
5 (7-ounce) containers rendered duck fat
Mince and mash 4 garlic cloves to a paste with a pinch of kosher salt. Stir together paste, kosher salt (1/4 cup), thyme, fennel seed, shallots, and bay leaves in a large bowl. Add duck legs and toss to coat, then marinate, covered and chilled, at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
Wipe off marinade with paper towels.
Melt duck fat in a wide large heavy pot over low heat, then cook duck legs, uncovered, over low heat until fat registers approximately 190°F, about 1 hour. Continue to cook duck, maintaining a temperature of 190 to 210°F, until a wooden pick slides easily into thighs, 2 to 3 hours more.
Transfer duck with a slotted spoon to a large bowl . Slowly pour duck fat through a fine-mesh sieve into a large crock or deep bowl, leaving any cloudy liquid or meat juices in bottom of pot, then pour strained fat over duck legs to cover by 1 inch. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.
Just before serving, remove duck from fat (reserve fat for another use, such as frying), scraping off most of fat, then cook, skin side down, in a large heavy nonstick skillet over low heat, covered, until skin is crisp and duck is heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.
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