Only the French could make something as pedestrian as chicken decadently delicious.
Confit is a traditional way of preserving meats, primarily, by slow cooking in fat, then packing cooked meats and fat in a sealed container to the meats keeps for months instead of days.
So far, so pragmatic.
The thing is, they don’t just use any old fat. They use duck fat. And holy hell is it delicious! The flavour of the duck goes deep into the chicken, making it a country mile from your common or garden slow cooked chook.
My lovely friends at L’Authentique have developed their own confit range, which includes a truly delectable chicken. I’ve given you two ways to use the confit below: the first, a traditional confit leg with duck fat roast potatoes; the second, a confit risotto.
CONFIT CHICKEN WITH DUCK FAT ROAST POTATOES
4 confit chicken legs
4 large agria potatoes
Green salad to serve
- Remove chicken from the packet, keeping aside duck fat and chicken stock
- Heat the oven to 210°C
- Peel potatoes and chop into either chips or 4cm chunks, whichever you prefer
- Place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and salt liberally. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to dry slightly.
- Take 4 tablespoons of duck fat and heat in a roasting dish. When the fat is melted and hot, toss the partially cooked potatoes in the fat and then put into the oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and crisp, turning occasionally during cooking.
- Heat another tablespoon of duck fat in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the chicken legs and cook until skin is browned and crisp (about 10 minutes). Turn over and repeat on the other side.
- Serve one chicken leg per person with roast potatoes and salad on the side.
CONFIT CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM RISOTTO
2 tablespoons oil or duck fat
4 rashers bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
350g abrorio rice
¼ cup white wine
1.5 litre chicken stock
200g mushrooms, sliced
2 confit chicken legs, bones removed and meat shredded
A knob of butter
Salt/pepper to taste
1 cup grated parmesan
Bunch parsley, leaves chopped
- Bring stock to a simmer in a large pan over a medium heat
- Meanwhile, heat oil or fat in another large heavy based casserole dish
- Add bacon and cook until crisp and well browned
- Add onion, celery, garlic and thyme and cook until onion is soft and translucent
- Sprinkle over rice and stir to combine, until rice grains are coated in oil and glistening.
- Pour over wine and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
- When wine is almost absorbed, begin adding stock, one ladle at a time until rice is creamy and al dente (the final risotto should be fairly liquid). Stir throughout the process.
- Halfway through cooking the risotto, add the mushrooms and stir to combine.
- Once the rice is cooked to your liking, turn off the heat, add the chicken and butter and stir.
- Season to taste, and stir through parsley just prior to serving.