1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix in 1/4 cup salt, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 crushed star anise, 2-3 tbsp chopped tarragon, 2-3 tbsp chopped italian parsley, 1 crushed clove of garlic, and 1 tbsp of fresh cracked black pepper. Vigorously mix everything with your hands making sure to almost “crush” the ingredients together.
2. Add the duck legs to the seasoned salt mixture (curing salt) and thoroughly rub the flavorings into the skin and flesh sides. After 5 minutes or so of rubbing, cover the duck legs with the remaining curing salt, cover with plastic or a damp towel, and set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the lightly cured duck legs from the fridge, take them out of the curing salt and lightly rinse off the excess salt and flavorings. Place the duck legs onto a dry towel to blot off excess moisture.
4. Place the cured duck legs into a 2-3 inch deep baking tray and cover the legs with rendered duck fat. Ideally, you want to completely submerge the legs in the rendered fat, but it can be hard to come by and fairly expensive, so it’s ok to supplement some of the duck fat for canola oil or even rendered chicken fat. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake in a 300f oven for 2 hours.
5. Once the duck legs are very tender, take them our of the oven and allow to cool in the baking container for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Once cool enough to handle, take them out of the fat and onto a plate or tray, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
6. Once the duck has chilled completely, get a medium sautee pan on medium-high heat and add one of the duck legs skin side down into the pan. Crisp the skin for 5 minutes or so, turn it over and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the duck start to become tender and hot in the center. Take it out of the pan and place onto dry papper towel to blot of excess grease.
7. In a small mixing bowl, add watercress, shaved fennel, whole grain mustard, sherry vinegar, olive oil, and season with a little salt and pepper.
Place the salad into a bowl and top with the crispy duck leg and ENJOY!!!