Before we progress with this recipe you have to ask yourself a few questions. Do you have access to lots of lard and/or duck goose fat? Do you have spare refrigeration, even the Freon free kind like a shelf in a garage? If you've answered yes to none of these don't be sad. You can still make this, just eat it sooner.
Confit is a method of preserving meat in its own fat. The fat seals out any air and helps keep the meat at a constant temperature. Typically in a cool basement or root cellar. In my case on the back porch next to my Christmas ham that's been in the brine for 28 days.
The idea here is to over salt a piece of poultry (chicken leg in my case) and some herbs and spice, cook slowly in fat until it's fall off the bone tender and then let it meld together over time. I made mine a month ago and so far we both feel fine.
Let's see how this nonsense went down in Aga Kitchen. Give yourself two days to make this and at least two weeks to let it rest.
- 6 chicken legs, I scored three slices on them (see picture) so flavors would penetrate, this is a time and labor intensive recipe so don't scrimp buy the best you can. I used Misty Knoll from Vt.
- 4 lbs plus or minus lard or other animal fat, vegetable fat won't do here.
- 3Tablespoon kosher salt...not sea salt....kosher salt...sea salt is too salty here
- 8 cloves garlic sliced thin
- parsley, sage rosemary and thyme, fresh. They sell it in a bundle at my local IGA
- cracked black pepper, 12 good turns of the peppermill
- nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon
- bay leaf, broke in half for good luck
All BS aside, this is worth the time and effort. Make it now and then pull out for a killer holiday lunch when company unexpectedly arrives. "Just a little something I whipped up, no bother at all"
In a steel bowl toss the garlic, herbs, salt, nutmeg, bay leaf and spices. Let the flavors mingle overnite or up to 24 hours
Melt your fat
In your Aga roasting pan add chicken legs after removing all the herbs and garlic, cover with melted fat.
Into Baking Oven for 30 minutes, timer goes beep and you move pan to Simmer Oven
Into Simmer Oven for 30 minutes. Test for tenderness by running a skewer thru the thigh. You should feel little resistance. If you tried to skewer the leg it should just slide off. Use good judgement. Better cooked longer thanundercooked.
Birds cooked, into a clean deep pan, pour fat thru a fine mesh strainer to capture all the garlic and herbs all over the legs. No part of the leg should be showing. This is what seals the meat from the evils of oxygen and bacteria.
Let cool and store for up to a 6 months. Again use good judgement here. If it's sitting in a seldom used beer fridge in the garage you'll be fine for 6 months. If you're like me and leave it on the back porch just watch the weather.
Good luck, Gerry