THIS WEEK­END

Make con­fit chicken /

Cuisine - - CHOP CHOP -

SERVES 6 /PREPA­RA­TION 10 MIN­UTES PLUS SALTING OVERNIGHT / COOK­ING 2 HOURS

Tra­di­tion­ally the con­fit process was a way of pre­serv­ing meat; the meat was salted then poached in fat en­abling it to be stored long term. We mostly as­so­ciate duck or goose with the con­fit method, how­ever the process is adapt­able; fish and chicken also work well, es­pe­cially when the con­fit uses oil. The cooked chicken can keep in the oil for up to a week, and the oil can be reused for other dishes.

3 ta­ble­spoons (45g) coarse sea salt 6 chicken Mary­lands (ap­prox 900g-1kg) 2 bay leaves

6 cloves gar­lic, un­peeled

½ tea­spoon black pep­per­corns a few sprigs of thyme ap­prox 2 cups oil (I used a mix of

ex­tra vir­gin and sun­flower oils)

Sprin­kle half the salt into a non­re­ac­tive con­tainer, place the chicken pieces in a sin­gle layer, add the re­main­ing salt, cover with plas­tic wrap and re­frig­er­ate overnight.

The next day rinse the chicken, pat dry with pa­per tow­els and put into a con­tainer that fits the chicken pieces snugly in a sin­gle layer. Add the bay leaves, gar­lic, pep­per­corns and thyme. Cover with enough oil to sub­merge the chicken. Pre­heat the oven 120°C. Cook the chicken for two hours, then al­low to cool in the oil. To use, re­move from the oil al­low­ing any ex­cess oil to drain off, fry skin side down un­til golden, then turn over and cook un­til heated through (or fin­ish cook­ing in the oven).

The chicken can be kept for up to a week in the oil. The oil can also be used to add flavour to other dishes, but keep it re­frig­er­ated and use within a week or two.

CHICKEN & WATERCRESS POT PIE

SERVES 4-6 / PREPA­RA­TION 30 MIN­UTES / COOK­ING 35-40 MIN­UTES

3 ta­ble­spoons oil from con­fit

1 leek, finely sliced

1 cel­ery stick, chopped

6 cloves gar­lic from con­fit, skin re­moved 3 cups root veg­eta­bles, cut into

1½ cm dice (ku­mara, car­rot, potato, parsnip, cele­riac etc. I some­times in­clude but­ter­nut too.) 4 ta­ble­spoons flour (add a lit­tle ex­tra

if you pre­fer a thicker sauce) 1 tea­spoon dried tar­ragon 500ml chicken stock

2 con­fit chicken Mary­lands, meat

shred­ded from bone

2 cups watercress, roughly chopped 1 sheet but­ter puff pas­try egg wash or milk

Pre­heat the oven to 200°C

Heat the oil in large saucepan, add the leek and cel­ery and cook un­til soft. Add the gar­lic and root veg­eta­bles and cook for 4-5 min­utes, then add the flour and tar­ragon and cook for a fur­ther 2-3 min­utes. Slowly add the stock and bring to a boil, en­sur­ing there are no lumps, add the chicken and cook gen­tly for 20 min­utes to cook the flour and thicken the liq­uid. Stir through the watercress.

Put into a bak­ing dish, cover with pas­try, crimp the edges and make sl­its into the pas­try to al­low steam to es­cape. Brush with egg wash or milk and bake un­til the pas­try is golden, ap­prox­i­mately 35-40 min­utes. Serve with a watercress and radish salad.

CHICKEN & WATERCRESS POT PIE

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