Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Chicken Confit

What I Made: Chicken Confit

I've never made duck confit although I've been saving duck fat in order to one day make it. When I saw this recipe for chicken confit, I thought it would be fun to try and it's easier to get chicken legs than duck legs.

What I Did:

3 tablespoons salt
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
6 sprigs thyme
Coarsely ground black pepper
3 chicken legs with thighs
About 4 cups duck fat

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the chicken pieces in a single layer. Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots and thyme in the container. Arrange the chicken, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

Preheat the oven to 225°F. Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan. Brush the salt and seasonings off the chicken. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the chicken (the chicken pieces should be covered by fat) and place the confit in the oven. Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer — just an occasional bubble — until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours. Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the chicken in the fat. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

Note: The duck fat can be strained, cooled and reused.

Review: The chicken was moist and tender although it worried me at first that the meat was still pink in places. But it was fully cooked and very tasty although hard to get all of the fat off. I scraped away what I could then microwaved it on a paper towel to absorb what melted off. I think I'll stick to duck confit in the end because it was a lot of effort for just chicken.

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