Most of us are familiar with classic French dish, duck confit, but there's no reason we can't apply the same technique to chicken. Confit is simply the act of preserving or slow-cooking food in fat or liquid. Our version uses olive oil instead of the traditional duck fat or lard and the result is an extremely juicy chicken.
The first step in confit is to cure the meat in salt and let it rest in the fridge (up to 24 hours in our version). This pulls any moisture from the chicken legs which would allow for bacteria to grow. Herbs, spices and additional flavourings can be added at this stage as well. We used thyme, cracked black pepper and lemon zest.
The second step is to slow-cook the meat which is usually done by completely covering the meat in fat or oil and cooking it at a low temperature in the oven for several hours. It’s important that the chicken be in a single layer so that it cooks evenly. Once cooked we finish the legs off under the broiler to get the skin nice and crispy. Let it rest a few minutes before serving.
The final step is to eat and enjoy your perfectly cooked chicken confit! Serve it with a nice French wine, oven roasted potatoes and a simple vinaigrette topped salad.
Get the full recipe here.