Confit of chicken breast with potato and celeriac gratin
( SERVES 4 )
This dish is a revelation. The texture of the chicken is meltingly soft and the flavour faintly salty yet herbal. You can keep the skin on the chicken if you wish. Heat the pieces in a pan over a low heat, allowing the skin to become irresistibly crispy. Although potatoes cooked in the same oil as the chicken would be a fine accompaniment, I find the gratin is effective, too.
|4||Free-range chicken breasts|
|1 head||Garlic, crushed|
|2 Ltr||Olive oil|
- Preheat the oven to 120C.
- Place the chicken breasts in a large bowl. Combine the salt, garlic, thyme and bay leaves in a separate bowl.
- Rub this mixture over the chicken and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Rinse off the marinade and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper then place in a shallow roasting dish.
- Pour in the oil and cook for 1½ hours. Remove from the oven to a warm plate and carefully remove the skin, if desired.
- Slice each breast into three pieces and serve with the gratin, spooning a little of the olive oil over the top.
- For the gratin, preheat the oven to 180C. Use the oil to grease a shallow baking dish.
- Peel the celeriac and the potatoes and slice to the thickness of a 20c piece.
- Mix the garlic and anchovy fillets in a small bowl.
- Place a layer of celeriac in the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with the garlic and anchovy mixture.
- Season with a little salt and pepper, cover with a layer of potato and repeat the layers until you have used all the celeriac and potato slices.
- Pour the cream over the top and allow it to soak in for a few minutes before transferring the dish to the oven.
- Bake for about 1½ hours until golden brown and crisp.