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Fennel, Chile, and Maple Dry Brine

['6 whole star anise pods', '2 tablespoons fennel seeds', '1/2 cup kosher salt', '1/4 cup maple sugar or 3 tablespoonss brown sugar', '1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves', '2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes']

Toast star anise and fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor; add salt, maple sugar, thyme, and red pepper flakes and pulse to blend, about 30 seconds.
DO AHEAD: Dry brine can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

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