If you’re looking for something a bit different, completely savory and sumptuous and more than a bit over the top, this is the meal for you. Preparation is relatively simple and the flavors are something that most only experience in high-end establishments, thinking that something of this caliber could never be prepared in a home kitchen. While there is a bit of long-term preparation involved the process really isn’t all that hard, it’s just the big fancy name that makes it sound daunting.
To quote the Grand Dame of the American Culinary Revolution:
“Non-cooks think it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.” ~ Julia Child
For most people, confit automatically brings to mind images of something cooked in duck or goose fat. While this is the current trend, confit is actually a much simpler premise than that. The definition of confit is quite simple:
Confit: [kohn-FEE] A meat slow cooked in its own fat with spices. Or a jam-like sweet spread.
In using this definition, anything cooked in its own fat is a confit, and to be tied to only using duck or goose fat would be a crying shame, since chicken confit is probably the simplest of all to make with just ingredients from your local BigScaryMegaMart, namely chicken leg quarters.
You know the ones. You’ve seen them before. They sit in the poultry section in a forlorn ten pound sack, partially packed in an impotent brine. These are the byproducts of the American love of the boneless-skinless chicken breast, cast off to obscurity because someone convinced an entire nation that white meat was the best meat. In this case their loss is our gain.
The chicken sold in bulk bags is mostly from roasting chickens. Roasting chicken are larger birds with a higher fat to body mass ratio and because of this have become less popular in today’s marketplace. Bulk chicken is also not trimmed for excess fat, it’s just sold by weight, meaning that the producers are not interested in making it look pretty. It’s perfect for confit and it usually costs around $4.00 for 10 lbs of chicken! The rest is almost blissfully simple.
So step out of your comfort zone for a moment and take a journey with me to the land of gourmet, where with just a bit of time and effort the most humble ingredients transform themselves into something more than you could have ever imagined where flavors and aromas transcend the parts that make up the whole and become something entirely wonderful. The experience may only last a few moments, but it is very much worth the effort.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 370mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 23g
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
Don’t even ask me this question. I’d pay $20.00 for a plate of this in any restaurant in the world. it doesn’t need fixin’
Links to other recipes like this:
- A ridiculously expensive disaster, aka Chicken Confit, from Cooking up a Storm