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eG Cook-Off #64: Confit

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#31 David Ross

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:29 PM

I typically use fresh duck hindquarters for my Confit, but unfortunately the local Asian market no longer carries them.  They were priced for the cook, usually no more than $1.99 a pound, far less than the per pound cost of a whole duck, butchering not included.  So a new adventure began substituting chicken hindquarters. 

 

This is the recipe that I developed about 15 years ago and it never disappoints-

4 duck, (or chicken), hindquarters

Kosher salt

1 tbsp. juniper berries, crushed

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 springs fresh thyme

4 fresh sage leaves, torn

3 dried bay leaves, crushed

8 cloves garlic, smashed

Fresh ground black pepper

Pork lard, (takes about 1 to 1 1/2 64oz. buckets, depending on size of pot and poultry)

 

I'll take this opportunity to bring up a pet peeve. I prefer the flavor and aroma of dried bay leaves over fresh, but the stuff in bottles is for the most part terrible.  Look into a bottle of dried bay leaves and if they are brown, do not buy it, it's an expensive waste of a wonderful herb.  I buy fresh bay leaves and dry them at home for about a week, then crush them to release the flavor.  The fragrance of fresh juniper berries adds a wondrous perfume to Confit and reminds me of Central Oregon and many successful hunts for wild mallard.

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The chicken goes into a large dish and is liberally salted on both sides-

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Now the herb mixture is spread over the chicken along with garlic and a hearty dose of black pepper-

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A Le Creuset pot starts over a low heat on the stovetop to melt the lard, then the chicken is pushed down into the pan and additional lard is added to cover-

Confit 003.JPG

 

Confit 007.JPG

 

Into a 200 degree oven for six hours.  Some recipes call for letting the Confit cook on the stovetop just below a simmer.  Cooking it in the oven sounds a bit dangerous since oven temperatures vary and one worries that the pot with boil over, but at 200 I've never had a problem.  Once out of the oven I let the Confit cool to room temperature then into the fridge.   I usually can't wait long to eat Confit, but I made three batches this time and I plan to taste each one over the span of about two months to see if aging adds an additional layer of flavor.


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#32 Steve Irby

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Posted 22 November 2013 - 09:15 PM

I guess this dish is on the boundary of confit-confiture. Royal red shrimp dusted with kashmiri curry and poached in olive oil with satsuma preserves, preserved lemons, and fennel.  

 

P1020246(1).JPG


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#33 David Ross

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:34 PM

When I started our Confit journey, I totally forgot that during our Banh Mi Cook-Off last summer, (http://forums.egulle...-banh-mi/page-3), I had combined the French technique of Confit with the Vietnamese elements of this delicious sandwich.   Thanks to a recipe from Thomas Keller, this is absolutely my favorite way to prepare pork.  The result is incredibly tender, juicy meat with a crackling, caramelized crust.

 

I buy fresh pork belly at the local Asian market, but I'm particular in choosing the thickest, meatiest slab I can find, (otherwise you're just buying pork belly fat). Like the chicken confit that is currently in my refrigerator, the Pork Belly Confit takes time, starting with brining a nice fat pork belly overnight. The brine is a mixture of honey, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic and black peppercorns.  I find all of Keller's brine recipes too salty for my tastes, (he uses a ratio of 8 cups water to 1 cup Kosher salt), so I cut the salt in half for the amount of water.  Sometimes I add juniper berries or lavendar to the brine-

Pork Confit 1.png

 

One important part of this recipe is to leave the "rind" or outer layer of skin on the pork belly until the final stages of cooking. In some dishes I'll cut the skin off, akin to removing the skin off a salmon.  The pork belly is put in the LeCreuset pot and covered with lard, then into a 200 oven to poach in the fat for 6 hours-

Pork confit 2.png

 

And out of the oven-

Pork confit 3.png

 

Placed in a heavy casserole dish and covered with the strained cooking fat-

Pork confit 4.png

 

And the chilled fat encasing the meat, then covered and refrigerated-

Pork confit 5.png

 

I let the Pork Belly cure for about a week before removing it from the fat.  When I looked at this beauty I sort of lost my breath, this is starting to look very good-

Pork confit 6.png

 

At this stage I took a sharp filet knife and removed that outer tough skin leaving a thick layer of tender fat.  Then the Pork Belly was cut into cubes for the final cooking-

Pork confit 7.png

 

The chunks of Pork Belly are sauteed in a hot skillet to crisp the skin-

Pork confit 8.png

 

And then finally put in the Banh Mi sandwich-

Pork confit 9.png

 

The method of making the Pork Belly Confit was traditional but I learned during that

Cook-Off that this style of pork is not traditional in a Banh Mi.   It may have been an unusual marriage but it worked.


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#34 Steve Irby

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 07:55 PM

Yesterday I took some off cuts of pork from the freezer and prepped then two different ways.  One was seasoned with five spice and one with New Mexico chili rub.  Both mixes were from Worldspice in Seattle.  They were vacuum bagged overnight then cooked in rendered pork fat today.    The pork was a locally purchased Tamworth that I bought last fall and butchered.  I cooked some small turnips along with the pork in the hot five spice oil and they tasted great.

 

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Dinner was Confit Five Spice Pork, Potatoes Anna with Oyster Mushrooms.  The confit turnips were with served with a mix of turnip and radish greens cooked with homemade tasso.

 

P1020260(1).JPG


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#35 catdaddy

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 08:52 PM

Today at work I used duck confit.

 

The dish is SousVide duck breast over banana flavored lentils, confit, creme fraiche, and with arugula pesto.

 

The duck legs are cured with salt, citrus zest, and an in-house spice blend (mostly coriander seed and fennel seed) then poached in duck fat for 4 hrs.

The bananas get browned in butter before the rest is added. Pesto on top. Very tasty.



#36 Jon Savage

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 09:39 PM

Shit. I saw a whole duck for $45 at the market yesterday... Srsly?

 

I can do much  better in little Saigon on Monday.

 

 

J.


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#37 David Ross

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:10 AM

Yesterday I took some off cuts of pork from the freezer and prepped then two different ways.  One was seasoned with five spice and one with New Mexico chili rub.  Both mixes were from Worldspice in Seattle.  They were vacuum bagged overnight then cooked in rendered pork fat today.    The pork was a locally purchased Tamworth that I bought last fall and butchered.  I cooked some small turnips along with the pork in the hot five spice oil and they tasted great.

 

attachicon.gifP1020253(1).JPG

 

attachicon.gifP1020256(1).JPG

 

Dinner was Confit Five Spice Pork, Potatoes Anna with Oyster Mushrooms.  The confit turnips were with served with a mix of turnip and radish greens cooked with homemade tasso.

 

attachicon.gifP1020260(1).JPG

That is one amazing dish.  I'm intrigued by the use of the five-spice and I may use that in a duck confit I plan to do and make into spring rolls.



#38 David Ross

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:12 AM

Today at work I used duck confit.

 

The dish is SousVide duck breast over banana flavored lentils, confit, creme fraiche, and with arugula pesto.

 

The duck legs are cured with salt, citrus zest, and an in-house spice blend (mostly coriander seed and fennel seed) then poached in duck fat for 4 hrs.

The bananas get browned in butter before the rest is added. Pesto on top. Very tasty.

Those are interesting flavors.  Tell us about the banana and how the sweetness worked with the duck. 



#39 Mallet

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:32 AM

I recently did a wild canada goose confit (12 hours at 80C). Terrific flavour, but still pretty tough. Has anyone experimented with even longer cooking times? Can you overcook confit? 

 

I am thinking of courting heresy by cooking the cured legs in a pressure cooker and applying the fat afterwards.


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#40 catdaddy

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:42 AM

 

Today at work I used duck confit.

 

The dish is SousVide duck breast over banana flavored lentils, confit, creme fraiche, and with arugula pesto.

 

The duck legs are cured with salt, citrus zest, and an in-house spice blend (mostly coriander seed and fennel seed) then poached in duck fat for 4 hrs.

The bananas get browned in butter before the rest is added. Pesto on top. Very tasty.

Those are interesting flavors.  Tell us about the banana and how the sweetness worked with the duck. 

 

The sweetness of the bananas gets toned down with their caramelization and the earthiness of the lentils. The confit offers richness and depth. Creme fraiche pulls it all together and allows it to stand up on the plate. 

 

The slight bitterness of the arugula is a good foil. 

 

Pared with a French viognier it's an unexpected success.



#41 Smithy

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:00 PM

I guess this dish is on the boundary of confit-confiture. Royal red shrimp dusted with kashmiri curry and poached in olive oil with satsuma preserves, preserved lemons, and fennel.  

 

attachicon.gifP1020246(1).JPG

 

Oh, my my my!   :wub:


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#42 David Ross

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:42 PM

Tonight I served some of the first batch of Chicken Confit that I started curing about two weeks ago.

 

The final preparation of the dish started with melting the fat over a low heat on the stovetop-

Confit Cook-Off 006.JPG

 

Then gently, very gently, the chicken quarters are removed from the fat and placed on a rack over a cookie sheet to heat in a searing-hot 550 oven for about 15 minutes-

Confit Cook-Off 012.JPG

 

A closeup of what this silky, lush, bird looks like after being suspended in pork lard for two weeks, (and it gets better)-

Confit Cook-Off 017.JPG

 

After heating through and crisping the skin until it crackles, the chicken confit is finished.  Served with a salad of spinach and red chard dressed with mustard, hazelnut oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil with a garnish of toasted pecans.  I chose to go simple tonight with a salad dressed with tangy, citrus and fruit notes to counter the rich, salty profile of the confit with a bit of sweet crunch added with the pecans-

Confit Cook-Off 025.JPG

 

Confit Cook-Off 022.JPG


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#43 Anna N

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:53 PM

Tonight I served some of the first batch of Chicken Confit that I started curing about two weeks ago.
 
The final preparation of the dish started with melting the fat over a low heat on the stovetop-
attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 006.JPG
 
Then gently, very gently, the chicken quarters are removed from the fat and placed on a rack over a cookie sheet to heat in a searing-hot 550 oven for about 15 minutes-
attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 012.JPG
 
A closeup of what this silky, lush, bird looks like after being suspended in pork lard for two weeks, (and it gets better)-
attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 017.JPG
 
After heating through and crisping the skin until it crackles, the chicken confit is finished.  Served with a salad of spinach and red chard dressed with mustard, hazelnut oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil with a garnish of toasted pecans.  I chose to go simple tonight with a salad dressed with tangy, citrus and fruit notes to counter the rich, salty profile of the confit with a bit of sweet crunch added with the pecans-
attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 025.JPG
 
attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 022.JPG

David, you have convinced me that chicken is worth the effort! Will be attempting this very soon. Thank you for sharing. I'll be doing it sous-vide of course.
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#44 David Ross

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:54 PM

Thank you.  I am going to chill some of it in the fridge and take it to work for lunch tommorrow.  I can only imagine what the other employees will think.  Chicken?  Confit?


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#45 Keith_W

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 10:13 PM

[]David Ross[/b] when I saw your pork confit I lost my breath too. May I ask which Keller book this is from? I don't seem to recall seeing the recipe.
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#46 Steve Irby

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 07:32 AM

Tonight I served some of the first batch of Chicken Confit that I started curing about two weeks ago.

 

The final preparation of the dish started with melting the fat over a low heat on the stovetop-

attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 006.JPG

 

Then gently, very gently, the chicken quarters are removed from the fat and placed on a rack over a cookie sheet to heat in a searing-hot 550 oven for about 15 minutes-

attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 012.JPG

 

A closeup of what this silky, lush, bird looks like after being suspended in pork lard for two weeks, (and it gets better)-

attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 017.JPG

 

After heating through and crisping the skin until it crackles, the chicken confit is finished.  Served with a salad of spinach and red chard dressed with mustard, hazelnut oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil with a garnish of toasted pecans.  I chose to go simple tonight with a salad dressed with tangy, citrus and fruit notes to counter the rich, salty profile of the confit with a bit of sweet crunch added with the pecans-

attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 025.JPG

 

attachicon.gifConfit Cook-Off 022.JPG

Beautiful job on the chicken.  I've confit chickens leg before but I always had trouble with the skin tearing.  I guess I'll try the "gently, very gently" approach again.  


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#47 Shelby

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 07:39 AM

Oh my, I had no idea chicken could look that good.  I, too, will be doing this soon.


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#48 David Ross

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:35 PM

[]David Ross[/b] when I saw your pork confit I lost my breath too. May I ask which Keller book this is from? I don't seem to recall seeing the recipe.

Thanks. You'll find the recipe in Keller's "ad hoc at home." 


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#49 David Ross

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:37 PM

Yes, it was a very delicate task to gently remove the chicken quarters from the fat with the skin tearing, let alone the bones slip out.  And I've found chicken skin to be much thinner than the skin of a duck. 

 

Tonight I'm going to do a pasta dish using the chicken confit but without the skin so I won't have to worry about the darn thing falling apart.


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#50 David Ross

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:39 PM

Another thought came to mind yesterday--this week all manner of turkeys are on sale, organic, free-range, butterball, fresh or frozen.  It's probably the best time of the year to buy turkey for confit.  But I wonder, could you make Confit from leftover turkey?  Or, since the turkey is already cooked are you basically defeating the purpose of the Confit process?



#51 Anna N

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 07:07 PM

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So I did two chicken legs as per Modernist Cuisine for duck confit. They were cured for 6 hours, cooked with duck fat for 8 hours and this one spent 15-20 mins in a 550 F oven. Definitely worth it! And chicken legs are so cheap. The tip about the oven is brilliant. Thank you.
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#52 Mjx

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 03:11 AM

Another thought came to mind yesterday--this week all manner of turkeys are on sale, organic, free-range, butterball, fresh or frozen.  It's probably the best time of the year to buy turkey for confit.  But I wonder, could you make Confit from leftover turkey?  Or, since the turkey is already cooked are you basically defeating the purpose of the Confit process?

 

Why not confit the turkey from the get-go (yeh, kind of late for that now, but there's next year, and a test run could be made on the unsold turkeys that inevitably go on sale immediately after Thanksgiving)? Plenty of people are looking for a different slant on the Thanksgiving day centerpiece, but can't bring themselves to give up actual turkey.


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#53 David Ross

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 02:59 PM

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

So I did two chicken legs as per Modernist Cuisine for duck confit. They were cured for 6 hours, cooked with duck fat for 8 hours and this one spent 15-20 mins in a 550 F oven. Definitely worth it! And chicken legs are so cheap. The tip about the oven is brilliant. Thank you.

Confit just never seems to fail.  That is beautifully moist chicken.


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#54 David Ross

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 03:01 PM

 

Another thought came to mind yesterday--this week all manner of turkeys are on sale, organic, free-range, butterball, fresh or frozen.  It's probably the best time of the year to buy turkey for confit.  But I wonder, could you make Confit from leftover turkey?  Or, since the turkey is already cooked are you basically defeating the purpose of the Confit process?

 

Why not confit the turkey from the get-go (yeh, kind of late for that now, but there's next year, and a test run could be made on the unsold turkeys that inevitably go on sale immediately after Thanksgiving)? Plenty of people are looking for a different slant on the Thanksgiving day centerpiece, but can't bring themselves to give up actual turkey.

 

I just got home from the Thanksgiving Holiday with family. They have been loosely following this Cook-Off, and while the photos have tempted them, they think Confit is difficult to make.  (Mind you, these are not studious cooks).  I said it isn't difficult, it just takes time.  I'm confident I got them to agree that turkey confit would be delicious.  I'm starting a batch this coming week.



#55 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 03:28 PM

What is the recommended time and temp for chicken leg/thigh 'confit' prepared via sous vide?


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#56 Anna N

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 04:12 PM

What is the recommended time and temp for chicken leg/thigh 'confit' prepared via sous vide?


I did mine according to the duck confit recipe in Modernist Cuisine. Cured x 6 hours then SV'd at 82C x 8 hours.
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#57 Anna N

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 04:16 PM

attachicon.gifimage.jpgattachicon.gifimage.jpgattachicon.gifimage.jpg
So I did two chicken legs as per Modernist Cuisine for duck confit. They were cured for 6 hours, cooked with duck fat for 8 hours and this one spent 15-20 mins in a 550 F oven. Definitely worth it! And chicken legs are so cheap. The tip about the oven is brilliant. Thank you.

Confit just never seems to fail.  That is beautifully moist chicken.

And on Thursday number 2 son and I enjoyed the duck legs. He is by no means an adventursome eater but was very generous with his praise for this meal.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog

#58 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 04:23 PM

Thank you!

 

I tried 75°C for 8 hours.
The chicken certainly wasn't dry just not as moist as expected.
It was as tender as expected and flavor was great!

 

I did French the leg and debone the thigh and then I formed the whole into a pear shape.

 

I think I'll try 7 hours next time.


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#59 davidkeay

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 04:48 PM

I made a large (for me) batch of confit, and put it up in jars today. I noticed that the bottom of some of the jars have some gelatin/stock that settled... I wasn't exactly vigilant about draining all the liquid off the legs that were in the bottom of the pot before moving them to the jar. I assume it was carried over that way, and then settled on the bottom once I covered everything in fat.

 

Is this OK? I had hoped to keep these jars around until at least christmas before eating them... do I need to drain those jars and re-pack it, making sure to strain better than I did, or should I be OK? This was my first time trying to jar the legs whole rather than shredding them first, so I didn't manage to pack them nearly as densely as I usually do.

 

To actually contribute to the thread - I started with 12 long island duck legs. I cured in a mix of salt, garlic, juniper, bay leaves, and thyme. For every 500 grams of duck, I used 8 grams of salt, and let it cure for 24 hours. It was rinsed and then covered in a mixture of half duck and half goose fat. Overnight (~10 hours) in a 220 degree oven, and I woke up to a wonderful smelling house.

 

NqRGwMx.jpg

kUxACfQ.jpg

SBinQHe.jpg


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#60 David Ross

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 05:19 PM

I would think the layer of fat will protect the confit, but probably only if the jars are refrigerated.  At room temp the liquid in the bottom could spoil.  In any case, I refrigerate my confit and it stays safe for weeks.







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