Confit refers to the method of slow cooking meat, fully submerged in fat. This technique is excellent for lean cuts of meat such as chicken breasts. By cooking confit, the chicken retains its moisture and tenderness, making it ideal for a cold preparation in chicken salad.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
3 large chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 stalk celery
2 bay leaves
5 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup whole grain mustard or 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place the chicken breasts, bay leaves, garlic and a pinch of salt in a large baking dish. Add enough vegetable oil to fully submerge the chicken. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
2. Place the baking dish in the oven. After one hour and 15 minutes, carefully remove the largest chicken breast and test to see if done. If the breast is fully cooked, remove the dish from the oven, taking care not to spill the hot oil. The oil can be reserved and refrigerated for future use in confit preparations.
3. Remove the chicken and allow it to cool to room temperature before processing.
4. After cooling, dice the chicken into 1/4-inch cubes. Dice the celery and mince the cilantro. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard and red wine vinegar. Add the chicken, celery and cilantro to the mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.