The process of making chicken confit is long, but the time is mostly hands off and it is SO worth it. Confit means to slowly cook food in fat.
You can use whatever kind of fat you want for this. I chose to use a mixture of duck fat and canola oil, but you can use chicken fat, lard, or a 50:50 mix of canola oil and olive oil (olive oil is too strong tasting to use on its own). Cooking the chicken slowly submerged in fat results in tender, fall-off-the-bone meat. After cooked, the chicken skin is fried so it is crispy, crunchy.
This recipe only uses 4 chicken thighs, but of course, you can double, triple or quadruple the recipe to have a bunch of chicken on hand! If you completely submerge the chicken in the oil and store in the fridge, the chicken can last up to 3 weeks! The fat creates a barrier to any bacteria allowing it to last SO much longer without going rancid.
I love making chicken confit on the weekend so I have chicken to take to lunch the whole week. It is, also, a great dinner to serve to a bunch of guests. Make the chicken the day before and then all you have to do is pan fry it before serving. Pair it with a delicious sauce and buttery potatoes and your guests will think you spent all day in the kitchen!
- 4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fat of choice (duck, chicken, lard, vegetable oil)
- Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Place in large plastic bag along with garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Place in fridge for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 250°. Place chicken, garlic, thyme and bay leaves into a large dutch oven. Pour fat of choice over chicken until chicken is completely submerged. If fat is solid, melt over stovetop first.
- Cover dutch oven and cook in oven for 2-2½ hours until chicken is fully cooked. If eating chicken immediately, remove chicken from fat. Heat skillet over medium high heat. Add 2tbsp of the fat from the dutch oven. Once hot, add chicken skin side down and sear for 1-2 minutes until skin is crisp. Flip and sear for another 1-2 minutes.
- If saving chicken for later use, let the chicken and fat come to room temperature. Place in an airtight container and cover the chicken completely with fat. Store in fridge for up to 3 weeks. Do not throw away fat! Strain it and use as cooking oil. It is delicious on roasted potatoes and sauteéd veggies or even eggs in the morning!
Is the chicken not very oily when done like this?
Nice. I'll try that. Thanks for the recipe!