Confit chicken with orange and pomegranate salad

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Meat mains

Confit chicken with orange and pomegranate salad

Main Serves 4 5h 40 min
Totnes' one good eatery (I can't tell you where it is) does a good line in chicken thighs cooked for twelve hours served on a bed of smashed beans. If Guy has it his way it will soon be a bed of cardoons (he's obsessed with them), so I'm glad I tried it when I did. It was so good I had to copy it at home. The sharp salad really complements the rich, unctuous meat. As with duck, it's usually the legs that get confited but, with the added olive oil, it will work with the breast meat. This recipe is definitely worth the overnight preparation and slightly lengthy cooking time.

Ingredients

for the confit

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed, 2 skin on and bruised
  • 4 juniper berries, crushed
  • 8 black peppercorns, crushed
  • zest of 1 small orange (use the rest for the salad)
  • 2 chicken legs (separated into thighs and drumsticks)
  • 1 litre olive oil (you can preserve the cooked chicken in the oil or re-use)

for the salad

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 orange, segmented, and 1 tbsp juice
  • 50g rocket
  • 2 chicory heads, leaves separated (or similar slightly bitter salad leaf)
  • ½ pomegranate, seeds only

Method

Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 5h 30 min

To make the confit

  • Step 1

    , crush the salt with half the thyme leaves, crushed garlic, juniper, peppercorns and orange zest. Place the chicken legs in a freezer bag, sprinkle with the salt mix and leave in the fridge overnight.
  • Step 2

    Preheat oven to 100°C/Gas Mark ¼. Brush the excess salt off the chicken then place in a casserole, or slow cooker, and cover with the olive oil. Add the remaining sprigs of thyme and the bruised garlic. Cover then cook for at least 5 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone.
  • Step 3

    Drain the chicken on a rack. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the oil, and heat in a large frying pan. Fry the legs over a medium-high heat until they are brown and crispy (about 2 minutes each side).

For the salad

  • Step 1

    mix together the olive oil, garlic, pomegranate molasses and orange juice. Toss this into the rocket, chicory and orange segments. Lay over a platter, top with the chicken and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

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