The Best Chicken Thighs Confit
When you think of confit, does something fancy and expensive come to mind? Confit is a technique from France that is all about slow-cooking something in fat and salt until it becomes this delicious, indulgent food.
You can usually find confit served in French bistros like our favorite in New York City, Balthazar where they have duck confit on the menu for brunch.
Confit was used first as a means of preserving foods. Now, it means that you can save your confit for about two weeks in the fridge. You won’t have too many leftovers after you get a taste of this recipe, but in case you do, it’ll stay enjoyable for a while.
So let’s talk about this absolutely delicious, fall-off-the-bone Chicken Thighs Confit that you need to try out!
Chicken Thighs Confit Recipe
This recipe might sound intimidating, but it’s actually super easy! With a short ingredient list and little prep work, this is something you can throw together with very little effort.
For the chicken thighs, don’t use the boneless, skinless variety. This confit is best made with bone-in chicken with the skin on, that way it’ll get that “falling off the bone” quality!
I did not use white onions in this recipe, but to give it flavor, I added: 1 TB black peppercorns, 6 garlic cloves, and 2 bay leaves during the cooking process. I also used garlic in the marinade to give it an extra boost!
Feel free to add extra spices, like star anise, coriander seeds, ginger, and fresh rosemary. You can customize this recipe to your taste.
Save the chicken confit fat
You can totally reuse this oil for another time! The spices and flavors just infuse the oil, so you can use it again to make another confit or to fry something up. Anything that uses this oil will benefit from this Chicken Thighs Confit!
Of course, confit is slow-roasting, so that means it needs a lot of time. Thankfully, you can throw everything together in a large pot, a roasting pan, or a slow cooker. 6 to 8 hours on low will do the trick. Cover it up and leave it and you’re good to go.
But the wait is SO worth it! You’ll have an incredible meal that will last about a week and reheats easily while retaining the flavor.
What To Serve It With
It can be a struggle to find something perfect to pair with such a decadent dish. But this Chicken Thighs Confit is going to be the star of any dish, no matter what you include.
When I made this recipe, I paired it with a Moroccan Vegetable Couscous. It was a simple, light side that went perfectly with the richness of the confit. Stay tuned for that recipe soon!
You can also do something as plain as white rice! One of the benefits to Chicken Thighs Confit is that you can make a big batch of it, heat it up in the oven, and serve it with some white rice and it still has every bit of flavor that it had the first night!
Some other ideas for what to serve these chicken thighs confit with are:
- Roasted potatoes or vegetables
- Mixed greens salad
- Kale with fresh lemon juice
- or Quinoa
How To Make Chicken Thighs Confit
If you’ve got a busy schedules, this Chicken Thighs Confit is going to be your lifesaver. You have moist, tender chicken that falls off the bone, oozing with flavor ready to eat anytime. Make it once, then eat all week. This is a 2-day process so if you’re meal planning for the week, you can start the prep on a Saturday so you can start with a lovely Sunday night dinner.
- ONE DAY BEFORE COOKING: Grab with chicken thighs and if they’re wet, pat it dry so spices adhere easily. You’ll season evenly on both sides with the kosher salt and pepper. Place chicken thighs into large dish, bowl or a gallon-sized ziplock bag, add the smashed garlic, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves then transfer to your fridge. If you’re using a bag, rest the bag on a small plate) for at least 12 hours or, even better, overnight. If possible, at some point mix the chicken up slightly to move the garlic and herbs around. The advantage of using a ziplock bag is just taking the bag and massaging the chicken around. With a dish, you’ll get another utensil dirty…so that’s one thing you don’t have to deal with when you use a gallon zipper bag
- ON THE DAY YOU’LL COOK (AND EAT): Preheat oven to 225°F for the slow roast process.
- Remove the chicken from the bag and place in a colander, reserving the spices used. Be careful not to toss them out. Rinse to get some of the salt off and pat dry very well. Now place the thighs into a roasting pan large enough to hold all the chicken, but not so big you can’t cover it with oil. Confit is a process of cooking in oil so this is important to have the right size to get the thighs submerged.
- Add all the aromatics you used when brining (the herbs, garlic, thyme springs). If you’re using rosemary, add it now, and scatter the sliced onion over. Add a 50/50 mixture of olive oil and canola oil until the chicken is completely submerged. It has to be totally covered with the oil, or it won’t cook evenly.
- Cover and roast in the oven for 6 to 8 hours. You can check the chicken at the 6 hour mark, it should be really tender…then you know your confit is coming together.
- Let the chicken and pan come to room temperature. You can pull out some thighs right away if you want to use them immediately, or cover and place in the fridge. Make sure they are always submerged in the oil and covered tightly. The chicken will keep for 5 or 6 days.
- Strain the oil and reserve to fry the chicken in it, or other foods like potatoes. Don’t let it go to waste.
- When you want to use the chicken, just remove the desired amount and pan fry in the reserved oil, starting skin side down over medium heat. Let the skin get really golden before flipping, so it doesn’t stick. You can also toss them in a toaster oven at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes. It’s cleaner this way if you don’t want to clean up oil splatter.
- You can use the rest of the chicken to shred and use in salads, on a pizza, tacos or pasta. Stay tuned for how we use it in other ways!
If you tried this recipe and feel free to tag me so I can see your culinary creation!