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Confit (French, pronounced [kɔ̃fi] or in English "con-fee") is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation. Sealed and stored in a cool place, confit can last for several months. Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food,[citation needed] and is a speciality of southwestern France.

Contents

Etymology

The word comes from the French verb confire (to preserve), which in turn comes from the Latin word (conficere), meaning "to do, to produce, to make, to prepare." The French verb was first applied in medieval times to fruits cooked and preserved in sugar.

Meat confit

Duck leg confit
Tinned duck confit and cassoulet

Confit of goose (confit d'oie) and duck (confit de canard) are usually prepared from the legs of the bird. The meat is salted and seasoned with herbs, and slowly cooked submerged in its own rendered fat, in which it is then preserved by allowing it to cool and storing it in the fat. Turkey and pork may be treated similarly. Meat confits are a specialty of the southwest of France (Toulouse, Dordogne, etc.) and are used in dishes such as cassoulet. Confit preparations originated as a means of preserving meats without refrigeration.

History

Traditional meat for confit include both waterfowl such as goose and duck, and pork. Duck gizzards are also commonly cooked in the confit method. Varying forms of this delicacy thrive throughout southern France.

“Confit Country” is the area of Occitan France where goose fat is used to cook, as opposed to olive oil, used in Provence where olives are plentiful and thus cheap. Confit country is divided roughly into regions where one type of meat predominates the confit preparations. Goose confit is associated with the Béarn and Basque regions with their classic specialties of cassoulet and garbure, hearty and earthy dishes of confit and beans. Saintonge and Brantôme feature duck confit, often with potatoes and truffles. Non-waterfowl meats are frequently treated to the confit process, but are not classically considered true confits. The French refer to ‘true’ confits as “duck confit” (confit de canard) or “goose confit” (confit d'oie); other meats poached in duck or goose fats are considered “en confit.” For example, chicken cooked in goose fat is called poulet en confit.[1]

Fruit confit

Fruit confit are candied fruit (whole fruit, or pieces thereof) preserved in sugar. The fruit must be fully infused with sugar, to its core; larger fruit take considerably longer than smaller ones to candy. Thus, while small fruit such as cherries are confites whole, it is quite rare to see whole large fruit, such as melons, confits, and when they are available, large fruit confits are quite expensive.

Notes

  1. ^ Plummer, Paul. Sensual Preservation: The Art of Confit. Pork is often confit and shredded to create "Rillettes"Rillettes

Larousse Gastronomique

See also








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