Chicken Confit with Lentils


Serves 4.

Confit is a preservation method where the fat acts as a barrier between the meat and spoilers. The key to successful confit preservation is to keep the meat totally covered in duck fat and then heat it thoroughly before serving (to an internal temperature of 165 degrees). The chicken thighs will keep in the refrigerator covered with duck fat for up to 2 weeks. You can serve the chicken thighs whole on a bed of lentils, as here, or pull the meat off the bone and chop it for salads or in pasta dishes.


Chicken Confit with Lentils


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, or more, if desired
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 24 black peppercorns
  • 4 cups rendered duck fat
  • 8 small shallots or garlic cloves, peeled (optional)
  • 1 cups brown lentils
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 large scallions, minced

Chicken Confit with Lentils Directions

  1. In a large bowl or sturdy plastic food storage bag, combine the chicken thighs, salt, thyme, smashed garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Shake well to distribute the seasoning and refrigerate for 12 hours (overnight is best).
  2. Preheat the oven to 250°.
  3. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and rinse off all the salt and herbs. Let the chicken rest for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, to allow the salt to distribute evenly throughout the chicken.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed medium Dutch oven, melt the duck fat over medium heat. Tuck the thighs into the fat to cover. You can add more thyme sprigs and the shallots or garlic cloves at this point to add more flavor.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 3 to 4 hours, or until the chicken is meltingly tender. You can store the cooked chicken in the refrigerator at this point. (Let the pot with the chicken return to room temperature, then refrigerate.)
  6. In a small saucepan, combine the lentils with water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Dress the lentils with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss in the scallions.
  8. Wipe the fat off the chicken thighs (this doesn’t need to be a thorough job), then heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  9. Sear the thighs in the skillet, about 4 minutes on one side, 3 on the other (a bit longer if the chicken was very cold).
  10. Pour the lentils onto a platter and set the chicken thighs on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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