A Versatile and Flavorful Ingredient
Adapted from Bouchon by Thomas Keller.
- Servings: Makes about 1 cup.
Garlic confit is made in the same way as confit de canard, only instead of poaching duck legs, peeled garlic cloves are slowly cooked in a bath of canola or olive oil.
Because the cooked cloves become very soft, when added to a sauce or even mashed potatoes, they seemingly melt into whatever they've been added to. Use them to add complex flavor to quickly sautéed tilapia filets, a bowl of mashed sweet potatoes, steamed green beans, a weeknight quick-made tomato sauce, to a compound butter that slicks slices of London Broil, or to turn a cup of store-bought mayonnaise into a short-cut aioli. If you love the flavor of garlic, there's no end to how a few of these soft cloves can enhance your cooking.
The oil that's used to make the confit is also a wonderful flavoring and can be used to pan cook meat or fish or be added to a vinaigrette.
Make as much as you think you will use in a month because the confit keeps refrigerated for that long, making it an easy and on-hand short-cut to flavor.
- 1 cup of peeled garlic cloves (30 to 45 cloves, depending on the size of your garlic)
- 2 cups canola or olive oil
- Trim the cloves of any root ends or marks.
- Place in a small saucepan and cover with the oil. Make sure all the cloves are completely submerged.
- Place over a medium-low heat and cook gently for about 45 minutes. You'll see some bubbles rise to the surface occasionally and this is fine. But don't let the oil boil -- your goal is to poach the cloves in hot but not blazing hot oil.
- Stir the cloves every 10 minutes so to be sure that all the garlic is cooking evenly. They will begin to take on a pale golden color.
- The confit is done when the garlic cloves are all very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
- Remove from the heat and let the garlic come to room temperature in the oil.
- Store refrigerated in an airtight container, with the garlic completely covered in oil, for up to a month.