I’ve been seeing duck confit for a while now, in ugly, ugly bottles in delis and supermarket. I don’t know what the fuss was all about, so I decided to try making one first, a chicken version one, before shelling out so much on something composed mostly of oil. 😛
I have been preparing for this for weeks, with instructions to ate Pines to save the fat (heart attack) from the other chickens we have been buying. We cook a lot at home, and after one week, have enough chicken fat for my liking. I bought 4 leg quarters, which were going to be the mains. So into a pan, fat first, then salt, then pepper, bay leaves, followed by the chicken quarters, with more salt.
Cook over very low fire. I skipped the 12 to 14 hours and made to do with two. And as it cooled in the pan, I tasted it. Yummy. Chicken in its simplicity, chicken at its best. You can taste the chicken, with all its tender strands. It was really good.
Now I am excited to plate it all up and use all the fat goodness. Aaaack 🙂
Chicken Confit Recipe
Recipe as copied from Emeril Lagasse’s Food Network site. (I never, never follow directions.)
4 chicken leg portions with thighs attached, excess fat trimmed and reserved (about 2 pounds total)
1 tablespoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 cups olive oil
Lay the leg portions on a platter, skin side down. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and black pepper. Place the garlic cloves, bay leaves, and sprigs of thyme on each of 2 leg portions. Lay the remaining 2 leg portions, flesh to flesh, on top. Put the reserved fat from the chicken in the bottom of a glass or plastic container. Top with the sandwiched leg portions. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Remove the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and chicken fat and reserve. Rinse the chicken with cool water, rubbing off some of the salt and pepper. Pat dry with paper towels.
Put the reserved garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and chicken fat in the bottom of an enameled cast iron pot. Sprinkle evenly with the peppercorns and salt. Lay the chicken on top, skin side down. Add the olive oil. Cover and bake for 12 to 14 hours, or until the meat pulls away from the bone.
Remove the chicken from the fat. Strain the fat and reserve. Pick the meat from the bones and place it in a stoneware container. Cover the meat with some of the strained fat so that there is a 1/4-inch layer of fat on top. The chicken confit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
The excess oil can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used like butter for cooking. The tinge of chicken taste in the oil is wonderful and I use the oil to roast potatoes, cook green beans, and pan-fry veal