Rockville, Maryland-based Packaged Facts predicted last year that “Everything Ancient Is New Again,” suggesting a revival of French cuisine. This includes confit.
Confit is a term derived from the French verb “confire,” which means to preserve. The original process involves cooking meat in its own fat, then covering it in the fat while storing it for future consumption. This process results in an extended shelf life meat that is very tender and succulent. The meat is usually high-fat poultry, such as duck and goose, but chicken and pork, namely bacon, are also commonly prepared as confit.
Today, variations include breaded and seasoned products. BarBacon, New York City, for example, offers Kentucky Fried Bacon (KFB) Bites, which are bite-sized crispy pieces of battered thick-cut bacon served like chicken nuggets. The inch-long chunks are dusted in flour, dipped in egg and covered with panko crumbs. After frying, they are covered with Thai chili honey and served with house pickles.
“The inspiration was confit bacon,” says Peter Sherman, chef, owner and creator of KFB. “This technique tenderizes the bacon, creating a desirable texture. There’s endless flavor possibilities.”
KFB Bites are available as an entrée served in a pretzel bun with ginger sage pork sausage and pineapple jalapeno slaw. They can also be found covered with pickled vegetables, cilantro, basil, mint and spicy aioli in a Banh Mi sandwich.
Maple Leaf Farms, Leesburg, Indiana, offers frozen duck leg confit prepared in the time-honored French tradition. It is slowly cooked in its own fat with classic confit seasonings — in addition to salt and pepper, thyme, garlic and shallots — for added tenderness and flavor. Fully cooked, consumers just heat and eat.
Earlier this year, D’Artagnan LLC, Union, New Jersey, debuted its unique twist on confit. The meat processor offers a vacuum-packed refrigerated chicken leg and thigh confit, which is slow cooked in duck fat until tender.