Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Momofuku Chicken Confit
In my last foray into cooking the Momofuku way, I wrote about Momofuku's chicken and egg. At the time, I wanted to cook the chicken as written but I didn't have anywhere near the amount of pork fat needed. Even at the end of my Momofuku weekend, I still didn't have enough fat so I succumbed to temptation and bought some duck fat so I could properly try the Momofuku Chicken Confit.
Firstly you debone some chicken legs and brine them in the Momofuku brine, which is a ratio of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup salt to 8 cups lukewarm water. Brine the chicken for between 1 to 8 hours. I think I left mine for two. Remove the chicken from the brine and put them into a small oven proof dish along with some rashers of bacon. Cover the chicken and bacon with some heated duck fat.
Chang says to cook this in a preheated 80 degree C oven for 50 minutes. There have been many bloggers who have attempted this before me and a few have commented that they felt this wasn't quite long enough. My oven is terrible, so I left mine for 1 hour 20 minutes and cooked it at 100 degrees C, the lowest it will go.
Once the cooking is done, you remove the pot from the oven and let it cool. The good part about this recipe is that once you've gotten to this stage you can put the whole pot (chicken and fat and all) in the fridge (covered) and it will keep for up to a week. This is what I did.
When you are ready to serve, Chang says to heat the dish in a low oven (90 degrees C) until the fat liquifies. I cooked mine at 120 degrees C and for a further 40 minutes. I think I may have cooked it for a little longer than necessary as I didn't realise until I took the chicken out that it was pink from the bacon. The chicken definitely wasn't overcooked, but I probably didn't need to wait that long.
So, then you remove the chicken from the fat and heat up a skillet over medium high heat and then add the chicken, skin side down, so that they get all brown and crispy. Chang says to weigh them down, so I covered them with a plate and put the dish of fat on top. Once they are brown, you can slice and serve.
D did not like the chicken cooked this way. He didn't like the flavour that the bacon imparted (although he didn't mind it when I roasted the chicken with bacon earlier) and he wouldn't eat it. I loved it, on the other hand. I was too lazy to make the rice and egg to go with it, so I ended up eating half of the batch (I only cooked two deboned legs) with some soy sauce and pickled cucumber.