They turned out so good I thought I'd share the recipe.
First, the brine:
I used a 5 gallon stainless steel pot, probably 4 gallons of water, to which I added:
1.5 cups kosher salt
several cloves of mashed garlic
soy sauce, maybe .5 cup
fresh sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme, chopped
.5 cup red wine vinegar
about 2 tablespoons of Tom Ka Gai soup paste my daughter gave me (adds a Thai spin)
The ducks sat in it for 24 hours, sitting on my cold back porch. (note: a buddy of mine did a similar thing last year near here, he put the container in his back yard overnight and made a black bear very happy)
I cut some alder branches for the smoking wood, David smoked them for 16 hours at around 120f.
When finished smoking, they went into a 475f oven for 20 minutes, then sat out to rest.
Accompanying the ducks at dinner were latkes, local potatoes shredded with the usual egg and flour, also as a nod to the Southwest, some of the hatch chilis I had a run in with earlier in the year, fried in a cast iron skillet. Green beans, steamed then sauteed with various herbs and duck fat, a sourdough Challah with poppy seed crust, cranberry with port wine, and it was washed down with a nice Malbec.
Full though we were, we were obligated to have a piece of my squash and ginger pie:
We talked about our kids and times past, the time we made them go camping on thanksgiving and cooked a turkey in a dutch oven, and the 40 years we've known each other. We missed the kids, but, as David reflected, "at least we didn't have to make them a separate pie".