Confit is the act of preserving or slow-cooking meat in fat. Our version uses olive oil for an extremely juicy chicken and a nice crispy skin.
2 tbsp (30 mL) kosher salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp (15 mL) cracked pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon zest
4 chicken legs (1 1/4 lb/600 g)
4 cups (1 L) olive oil (approx.)
1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) grainy mustard
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) each salt and pepper
6 cups (1.5 L) assorted bitter lettuces (such as radicchio, endive, escarole, frisée and baby dandelion leaves)
1 Toss together salt, thyme, pepper and lemon zest; sprinkle all over chicken legs in bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
2 Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Arrange chicken in large Dutch oven in single layer. Pour oil over top, adding enough oil to submerge chicken completely. Cover and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until chicken is very tender but not falling off the bone. Let stand in oil for 30 minutes. Carefully transfer to foil-lined baking pan fitted with metal rack. Broil on centre rack for about 10 minutes or until skin is crisp. Let stand for 5 minutes.
1 Meanwhile, pour oil through fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Whisk together 1/3 cup (75 mL) oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper; toss with bitter lettuces (reserve remaining oil for another use). Serve with chicken.