Thursday, July 17, 2014

Comfy Drumstick confit

Pronounced as: CON- fee (if you really want to sound French say it like you have a head cold!)
This old french way of cooking preserved meat for weeks before they had refrigeration. You will only find it on the menu of impressive ($$$$) French restaurants. slave thought why not try this?
It takes TIME, but hardly any work!
No special techniques!
You don't have to know how to cook!
Although this DOES take a couple of overnights, plan ahead. Give it time, the results are fantastic and impressive as hell!

This can be made with any type of meat. I used chicken legs because it is a more impressive finger food than wings and they are cheaper! If you find a sale on chicken drumsticks, like 3 or 4 lbs – buy them and confit!

3 - 4 lbs of chicken drumsticks
2 Tbs of kosher salt
1 Tbs of minced fresh garlic Since the cloves are different sizes just start mincing until you get about a tablespoon full.
1 Tbs sweet paprika or
2 teaspoons Herbes De Provence
(really, all you need in this step is the salt – any extra MUST be kept to a minimum.)
2 qt of peanut oil

First dry out the drummies!
Ah here's the rub. This should be enough for 8 chicken legs, slave stretched it to 14!
Mix the seasonings into a shallow bowl.
(you are going to wash this off latter, so don't worry about using all that salt or covering every square millimeter)
Mix this well and get ready to get your hands dirty, have paper towels ready! Any time you handle raw chicken EVERYTHING you touch can get contaminated, so watch what you touch.

Lay out a sheet of wax paper on the counter. Put out the bowl with the rub. Rinse off the chicken and pat each dry with more paper towels. Line up the dry pieces on the wax paper. As you rub each piece with the mix put them in a resealable plastic bag. When one is full have another bag handy. Then this goes into the refrigerator overnight. Wash up everything well including any handles you might have touched.

This is the first of two overnights for this cooking. This is the one time slave does not recommend bagging in buttermilk first. The salt will draw out the moisture in the skin and help make the chicken very tender.
So far not very difficult is it?

Check your pans to make sure they will fit! On the bottom oven rack will be a rimed baking sheet with a rack, Then the main oven rack with the Dutch oven on it.
When ready to cook the next day, preheat the oven to 200 ºF

See how slave set up the baking rack! It will keep any spills from going all over the oven and will come in handy tomorrow to finish this dish!

Rinse the seasoning off each piece and dry with paper towels. Dry them again as you put them in a nice oven-safe Dutch Oven. Make sure it is deep enough that you can cover the chicken pieces completely with a half an inch of oil and not have it splatter over the sides. Any water left on the chicken will become steam when it is covered in hot oil. That makes a nasty explosion splattering very hot oil everywhere.
Cover the legs in the melted fat or oil. Just make sure there is at least a half inch of oil on top of the meat. Get the importance?

Start the meat cooking over a medium heat on the stove top. When the oil starts to gently bubble, CAREFULLY put this bubbling pot into the oven, uncovered. Getting this pot into and out of the oven is the hardest part of the whole process.
Cook for 10 — 12 hours (the second overnight) 
Still not exactly rocket surgery, huh?

Now that the chicken legs have been cooked (poached) you will want to crisp up the skin.
Remove both the dutch oven and the baking sheet.
Turn up the oven to 350!

Carefully lift the chicken from fat and place in a single layer on that baking rack. Using a “spider” or tongs to help hold the very tender, delicate chicken together.

Then slide this back in oven long enough to crisp skin. About 10 to 15 minutes.
When it looks nice and crunchy, remove from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes to rest! This also lets any grease drain off.

Transfer chicken to a platter to enjoy! HEAVEN!

Now what of that oil the chicken poached in all night? SAVE IT! Strain it into a seal-able jar for the refrigerator. Use it to roast vegetables like potatoes or green beans or asparagus. It is great to brush on roasting chicken or turkey!
Just be sure to throw out any sledge at the bottom of the pot.

What you have done is to recreate a very famous French dish: “Duck Confit”. It took no special training, no special techniques, just 3 or 4 ingredients and TWO nights of letting it cook itself!

Now if you had used real Duck Fat (about $60 mail order and or 3 or 4 Frozen Ducks at nearly $30 a piece), It would taste much better! But here is a much more reasonable costing dish. Under $27. By the way if you had spent all that money, the process would be exactly the same - nothing different!

Slave knows it is not about taking the “Glory”. The bottom line of this is that you have done a tremendous thing for your Master and His guests!

Now you can fix this as part of a dinner with mashed potatoes or roast vegetables or just serve with a couple of dishes of dip for a big game party. For that matter, a very intimate dinner for two by candlelight and offering to feed him between glasses of nice champagne might be more appropriate to show how much your Master means to you.

This “fancy – smancy” dish takes time and a lot of love! Give this gift to the special one in your life. The giving of your time and your effort is by far the greatest gift you have.

My Master Indy deserves so very much more than this slave can give, it makes me grateful I can give even these small gifts.

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes by Dan White via @amazon

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