Confit of Gizzards

by Jefferson Munroe

mmmm...delicious fat

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. gizzards
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1-2 cups rendered chicken fat or olive oil

Confit translates to mean “cooked in fat” in French, but it might as well mean “deliciousness cooked in delicious fat” because it makes everything better. These gizzards should be put away for a week in your fridge after cooking to let the flavors meld; then they’re great browned with some eggs in the morning (think unsmoked bacon) or cooked under the broiler for 7 minutes before tossing with some greens, fresh herbs, and vinegar. Or without anything whenever you’re in the mood for a tasty little snack. Properly stored they’ll keep up to 3 months in your fridge, but I doubt they’ll last that long.

To render the chicken fat, save chicken fat from whole birds and thighs or ask your butcher to save extra fat when breaking down chickens. Soak the chicken fat for an hour in cold water; then put it in a pan and cook over medium low heat until most of the fat has rendered out and you can remove the chicken bits. Keep cooking until all the water has evaporated and you’ll be left with a wonderful cooking fat that resembles clarified butter. Store covered in the refrigerator. Clean and thoroughly wash the gizzards. Dry as best you can as the curing is intended to remove as much water as possible. Smash the garlic, break up the bay leaves and pluck the sprigs clean, and toss with the gizzards and the salt in a bowl. Place in fridge and leave overnight. Drain off any excess liquid in the morning and wait another 6 hours. Preheat oven to 220° F. Rinse seasonings and excess salt from gizzards, then dry. Combine with fat in an ovenproof pan and once fat reaches a simmer move to oven and allow to cook for 4 to 6 hours. You’ll know the gizzards are done when they’re lying at the bottom of the pan and the fat looks clear, as this will indicate that they are no longer releasing any liquid. To store I usually use mason jars, but any container will do. Fill the container 4/5 of the way full with gizzards, then pour the melted fat over them, making sure not to scoop any of the cooking liquid from the bottom of the pan as it will spoil quickly. The fat should completely cover the gizzards. Any extra cooking liquid works well as a concentrated, salty stock for cooking grains or adding to vegetable sautés.