"Can you please explain the process of confit? I know the classic is duck, but there must be other foods that use this technique. I am kind of hiding in shame just not getting it when reading instructions for this. Thanks!"
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This week, for my first Thanksgiving, I'm cooking turkey drumsticks, turkey necks, turkey gizzards, and turkey hearts. And to up the fatty ante, I'm confiting all these parts.
Olive oil is a great fat with which to confit. The flavor of meat confited in olive oil tends to be a little lighter than meat cooked in duck fat and certainly lard, but the real advantage of confiting in olive oil is that you don't have to track down good-quality animal fat. Any bottle of olive oil will do and after you have used the oil to confit the meat, you can use it again to roast your vegetables.
Cooking duck is a great gateway experience to the full-on nose-to-tail eating. All of the parts are delicious and easy to prepare, it just takes a little time. Watch this video to see ducks turned into sausage, pate, rillette, stock, prosciutto, and confit.
My intention was to let the confit rest for about a month before eating the duck, but one thing led to another, and half a year later, that pot was still in my fridge with its parts intact. The more I thought about it, the more frustrated I became, knowing that breaking into the pot would be time-consuming even if the results were going to be delicious. So one of my New Year's resolutions was: get rid of that giant pot of fat with the confit.
[Photographs: Chichi Wang] Compared to chicken, turkey gizzards are gargantuan. One turkey gizzard fits snugly in the palm of my hand. Around Thanksgiving, most stray gizzards are marshaled into the gravy. Being an offal lover, I'd rather eat the components...
[Photographs: Chichi Wang] If beef tongue is something of a monstrosity, then pork tongue is the smaller, subtler of the two. Even so, at five or more inches in length, the tongue of a pig is not to be sneezed...
"My duck routine is always carried out for the sake of confit, an illustrious ritual that begins and ends with fat." When I need a bit of fun and relaxation after a long day's work, I'll buy a few ducks....