Chicken Confit
Chicken Confit

This may be the most impressive chicken you will ever cook. Chicken confit is tender, juicy, and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.

In this recipe

  • What is confit?
  • How to confit chicken
  • Best piece of chicken for confit
  • All about the fat
  • Ideas for substitutions
  • How to serve chicken confit
  • How to store chicken confit

Chicken confit in the back of your fridge is like money in the bank for a future meal. A tasty surprise awaits you plus a night off from cooking a day on the road!

When slow-cooked in olive oil, the chicken becomes melt-in-the-mouth, stays moist, and lasts in the fridge (as long as it’s submerged in the oil) for at least a month. When ready for dinner, pull out and broil or sear until the skin is crispy. Serve with your favorite side dishes, layer on top of a salad, or shred into tacos or burritos.

Confit is a way of preserving meat by slowly cooking it at a low temperature while fully immersing it in fat or oil. The best known are duck or goose confit, which come from the southwest of France. They use rendered duck or goose fat to cook the meat and store it over the winter months. You can confit other meats like chicken, pork, lamb and even vegetables.

Confit is low and slow cooking in which the meat is completely submerged in fat or oil. I use olive oil for this recipe. At a low, even temperature, the oil transfers heat more gradually to the food than water at the same temperature. All this leads to a gentle cooking with very tender and juicy results.

How to confit chicken

While it sounds like a super hearty and tricky dish, most of the time, making chicken confit is a waiting game that can be broken down into three steps:

  1. Salt the chicken, add some garlic and herbs and refrigerate for 24 hours. This helps preserve and flavor it.
  2. Dip the chicken in olive oil and cook slowly on low for about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Chill the chicken and store in the fridge, fully submerged in the olive oil, for up to 1 month (if it will last that long without gobbling it up).

This recipe requires cooking the chicken in the oven. This is my preferred method because you don’t have to monitor it too much. There are two other ways to cook the chicken:

stovetop method: Let the chicken simmer on the stove over very low heat so that only a few bubbles appear at a time. You need to keep an eye on it to make sure the heat is consistently low and even.

Slow cooker method: While I haven’t tried confit in a slow cooker, you could set it on the lowest heat setting and then forget about it for about 6 hours.

Best piece of chicken for confit

Whole chicken thighs (the thigh and drumstick attached) make a nice presentation, but you can use chicken thighs or breasts with the skin and bones intact.

All about the fat

While duck fat is traditionally used to confit poultry, it is expensive and sometimes hard to find. I use olive oil with excellent results.

Does cooking the chicken dipped in all that olive oil make it greasy and greasy? Well, not exactly. The oil will help cook and tenderize the chicken, but won’t penetrate deeply into the meat.

After you eat the chicken, strain the oil, refrigerate for about a month, and use in cooking. It’s so fragrant! Remember that olive oil solidifies in the fridge. This does not affect the quality. Let sit at room temperature before use – it will return to its liquid state.

Ideas for substitutions

Instead of whole chicken drumsticks, you can use skin-on-bone breasts and thighs. You can also switch up the flavors: rosemary, sage, oregano, cloves, star anise, coriander, and juniper berries, to name a few.

How to serve chicken confit

So easy! Instant dinner! Remove a leg or two from the refrigerator, scrape off some of the coagulated oil, and sear in a nonstick pan until the skin is golden and crispy and the meat is warmed through. Just add a side salad and your favorite carbs and dinner is ready.

Other uses for chicken confit:

  • Shred the meat into a tortilla.
  • Add it to a pot of beans.
  • Use it in a cassoulet.
  • Make it into a ravioli or savory crepe filling.
  • Shred the meat and add enough olive oil to make a spread (it’s called a rillette). Serve on toasted baguette slices.

How to store chicken confit

The chicken should be kept in a sparkling clean container that has been sterilized in the dishwasher or in boiling water, preferably glass or earthenware. It doesn’t have to be in one layer, though It should be fully submerged in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and then foil or a tight lid and refrigerate for up to a month.

Technically, you could freeze chicken confit for longer storage, but the texture of the meat suffers as small ice crystals form around it.

More ways to cook chicken

  • How to cook chicken
  • How to grill juicy, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Restaurant style poached chicken
  • How to cook chicken in the Instant Pot

Chicken confit

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
2 hours

cool time
25 hrs 30 mins

total time
27 hrs 40 mins

up to 6 servings

You can confit 4 to 6 whole chicken drumsticks without changing the recipe. I can place five whole chicken thighs in a single layer in a 12 inch skillet fully submerged in 4 to 5 cups of olive oil. Make sure your pan is at least 3 inches deep.


  • 4 to 6 whole chicken thighs with skin and bones (3 1/2 to 5 pounds total)

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • 3 cloves garlichalved

  • 4 branches thyme

  • 4 all cloves

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 4 to 5 cups olive oil


  1. Prepare the chicken:

    Place the chicken in a large casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Stuff the garlic, thyme, cloves and bay leaves around the chicken. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. You can do this in a large bowl.

  2. Preheat oven to 250ºF.
  3. Cook chicken:

    Remove the chicken from the casserole dish and use a paper towel to wipe off the flavors and pat dry.

    In a large Dutch oven or ovenproof skillet that is at least 3 inches deep, arrange the chicken in a single layer. I can fit 5 whole chicken thighs in a 12″ pan. Cover with enough olive oil to just dip the chicken, 4 to 5 cups.

    Place the pan over medium-high heat until a few bubbles appear. The oil should read about 125ºF with an instant read thermometer. It takes 15 to 20 minutes.

    Cover the pan with foil or a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat can be easily pierced with a skewer and the juice runs clear.

    After the first 15 minutes, check that the oil hardly bubbles. If it’s not bubbling at all or if it’s sizzling wildly, turn the oven temperature up or down by about 10 degrees. Check again at the 1 1/2 hour mark.

  4. Chill the chicken:

    Remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken cool in the oil for 30 minutes.

    Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a deep glass or earthenware bowl and strain in the oil. Leave to cool to room temperature. Discard the flavorings.

  5. Storing chicken:

    Transfer the cooled chicken to the oil. The chicken should be completely submerged in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then foil. Store in the fridge for up to a month.

  6. Two ways to heat the chicken:

    In the oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the chicken from the oil and scrape off some of the curdled oil. Place skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet or skillet. Roast for 25 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crispy.

    On the stove: In a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat, add the chicken skins, cut-side down. Cook until the skin is golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Flip the chicken and sear the other side for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through completely.

  7. Serve Chicken:

    Transfer the chicken to a serving platter or individual plates. Serve with roast potatoes, a green salad or your favorite vegetable.

nutritional information (per serving)
162 calories
13g Fat
1g carbohydrates
10g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!