If you’re not into roasting a whole turkey or just want something delicious, try this simple technique using the big bird’s best part. It’s our favorite way to cook turkey, and thighs are easy to find this time of year. You can make this a day or two ahead of time.
Confit (pronounced cone-fee) derives from the French word for preserving, and most often described duck legs that were heavily salted, cooked slowly in duck fat, and stored at room temperature under the congealed fat to prevent spoilage. Refrigerators freed cooks from the preservation imperative, but we can embrace the tasty part of making confit.
Turkey thighs can be pretty big, but plan on at least one person, then add at least one more for leftovers. And while this uses a lot of olive oil, some of it goes into the gravy, and the rest can be saved for reuse in savory dishes.
TURKEY THIGH CONFIT
Give the thighs a good dusting of sea salt and black pepper on both sides, then arrange them snugly, skin side up, in a skillet or baking pan; refrigerate uncovered overnight or for a few hours to dry out.
Add enough extra virgin olive oil to nearly cover the thighs, but leave the skin exposed so it gets crispy. Cover and cook in a 300F oven for about 3 hours.
Use tongs to move the thighs from the skillet to a plate. Pour the olive oil, now rich with meat juices, into a tall, heat-proof container. As it cools, the oil and juices will separate and can be used for gravy.
It’s not rocket science, but making gravy is fraught. It’s the key to a successful turkey dinner, and nobody wants it lumpy. There are several ways to get to good gravy, but this one is relatively simple.
Combine the olive oil with the flour in a skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes or until the roux looks like milk chocolate. Stir in the chicken broth and cook for another 10 minutes or until the gravy thickens enough to cling to a spoon.
Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed. A splash of soy sauce adds both umami and color, and a little vinegar can brighten the flavor. I usually add some cream, too, but it’s optional.
The gravy should be thick enough to coat a spoon, but thin enough to pour. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. If it’s too thin, make another small batch of roux, and stir in some of the gravy before adding it back to the pot
A collaboration between Cloud Forest and Jacobsen Salt, the “Bee” Bar honors the companies’ shared “admiration for the buzzing creature key in sustaining our foodsheds.” Laced with bright yellow bee pollen and crunchy salt, this milk chocolate bar is as beautiful as it is delicious.