Even though the process of cooking something in ‘confit’, or immersed in oil, was generally done in the old days for preserving meat without refrigeration, the result was fall off the bone so delicious that it is still a popular method of cooking these days.
Instead of taking the majority of the day or even days of preparation, when I want to eat something it has to get in my mouth as soon as possible. I scoured the internet for recipes on how to make a confit quickly. And since I’m not filthy rich nor do I want my kids to eat something expensive to only spit it out seconds later, using chicken thighs rather than duck legs – as it is usually made with, is a thrifty and equally delicious alternative.
Be sure to use skin on, bone-in chicken thighs. My grocery store (Kroger) sells these for around $3 for 4-5 thighs. When you cook them on the pan skin down immersed in olive oil, you will render out the fat to achieve that crispy skin without any flabbiness underneath. After the chicken skin is browned and crisp, it is put in the oven to cook on low heat for a couple hours until the meat practically falls off the bone.
To serve this rich dish, laying the chicken on a bed of salad would make it a balanced meal. I did that the first time I made this dish. I also tried laying it atop of white rice, so it could soak up all the juices from the chicken. You could also put it on mashed potatoes. Or eat it with freshly baked sliced bread (to use for soaking up the chicken juices, of course). Or if you’re a glutton for carbs, eat atop of rice with side of potatoes and sliced bread.
Not that I ever did that..
Quick and Easy Chicken Confit
- 4-5 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
- Olive oil (enough to immerse halfway up the chicken in a large pan)
- salt and pepper
- 3 medium onions, sliced thinly
- couple sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
1) Take the chicken thighs out of the package and pat them dry with paper towels. Generously salt and pepper both sides. In a large pan, pour enough olive oil to immerse halfway up the chicken thighs. Heat to medium, then gently place thighs skin side down. Render out the fat for 20 minutes, or until the skin is brown and somewhat crispy (the remainder of the fat will render out in the oven). Using tongs, place the chicken (skin side up) in a deep baking dish or casserole dish. Reserve the oil on the pan for the onions.
2) Preheat oven to 275F, or the lowest temperature it can go (I’ve set it to 300F degrees before).
2) Cook the onions in olive oil until translucent. Throw sprigs of thyme into onions and stir around. Pour everything (including oil) into the baking dish. Bake, uncovered for 2 hours. Serve atop salad, rice, or mashed potatoes.