Category Archives: French

Quick and Easy Chicken Confit

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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..

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Quick and Easy Chicken Confit

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

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.

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Cream Puffs.

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I’m back for now. Sorry for the long hiatus; I’ve been going through a lot of stuff recently and I’ll explain it all some other time. For now, here’s a recipe (finally) for cream puffs. Cream puffs are a very versatile pastry used for both sweet desserts or savory hors d’oeuvres. The dough, called pâte à choux, is made with 5 simple ingredients, and after it is baked the outside is golden and crisp while the inside is delicately hollow, giving you ample space for various fillings such as cream, cheese, meat, or seafood. The same dough is also used for making éclairs. 

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For my cream puffs, I made a cream cheese filling with a hint of lemon. You can opt out the lemon if you prefer, or add something else in place of it, such as orange zest or vanilla extract. 

Cream Puffs (Makes 20-24) 

Ingredients for pâte à choux: 

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 eggs

Ingredients for filling: 

  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1 8oz. package of cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

Directions: 

1) In saucepan, combine butter, water and salt and bring to a boil. Add flour, stirring rigorously until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. 

2) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add mixture to a mixer, and beat eggs in one at a time until smooth. If you don’t have a mixer, mix with a wooden spoon.  On a cookie sheet, drop batter by teaspoons about 4 inches apart. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. DO NOT open the oven to check until at least 5 minutes before bake time is over; the puffs will collapse if oven is opened too early. Cool on wire rack. 

3) To make the filling: beat 1/2 pint heavy cream with a mixer until whipped, and set aside in a bowl in the refrigerator. Then start blending the cream cheese with powdered sugar, adding a little sugar at a time until combined. Add 1 tsp. lemon zest (optional). Fold in whipped cream by hand until combined with cream cheese. 

4) Carefully cut the tops off the puffs and add a spoonful of cream cheese filling to each. Serve and enjoy! 

**If you are serving at a later time, keep the puffs and the filling separate in the refrigerator until you’re ready to combine them. That way they won’t get soggy. If serving in the distant future, the puffs can filled with filling then frozen in zip-lock bags (for up to 2 months), then defrosted at room temperature. 

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Directions with pretty pictures and elaborate jibber-jabber: 

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Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan. 

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Add salt. Don’t mind the 1/4 tsp. I used; I made a double batch. 

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Add water. 

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Let the mixture come to a boil. 

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Then add the flour. 

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Stir rigorously until the mixture forms a sticky ball of dough. 

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Like this. 

Cool for about 10 minutes. 

Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. 

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Put dough into the mixing bowl. 

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Add one egg at a time, beating until well blended before adding another egg. 

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Blend until dough is smooth. 

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On a cookie sheet, drop batter by teaspoons about 4 inches apart. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. DO NOT open the oven to check until at least 5 minutes before bake time is over; the puffs will collapse if oven is opened too early. 

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Cool on wire rack. 

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To make the filling: beat 1/2 pint heavy cream with a mixer until whipped, and set aside in a bowl in the refrigerator. 

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Then start blending the cream cheese with powdered sugar, adding a little sugar at a time until combined. 

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Add 1 tsp. lemon zest (optional). 

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Fold in whipped cream by hand until combined with cream cheese. 

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Carefully cut the tops off the puffs and add a spoonful of cream cheese filling to each. I like to put the tops back on haphazardly to show a gap of filling. It’s like a tease. 

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Serve and enjoy! 

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Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to eat the rest of the plate.

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