Monday, April 2, 2012

Chicken Confit

4 chicken marylands
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
200 g sea salt
2 kg duck fat, melted
6 kipfler potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
12 Swiss brown mushrooms, halved
12 vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
200 g baby spinach
Choose a ceramic dish that will fit the chicken snugly (a lasagne dish is ideal). Place the chicken in the dish, tuck the bay leaves and thyme sprigs around it, and sprinkle the sea salt all over. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 100°C.
Remove the chicken from the dish and wash and dry it thoroughly. Discard the salt and herbs, wipe out the dish, then place the chicken back in and pour over the melted duck fat. Cook in the oven for 7 hours.
Carefully remove the chicken from the dish using a slotted spoon (the meat will be literally falling off the bones) and transfer to a large dish to keep warm while you cook the vegetables.
Heat a couple of spoonfuls of the duck fat from the oven in a large frying pan. Add the potato and whole garlic cloves and cook over medium heat until the potato is tender and browned all over (about 10 minutes). Add the mushrooms and brown them for about 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for 3–4 minutes. Finally, fold through the spinach.
To serve, spoon a mound of vegetables onto each plate and tuck a chicken maryland next to it. I like to provide guests with a large jar of mustard, and warm crusty bread.
Serves 4

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