How You Should Be Seasoning Confit

Confit is a laborious technique that may take time to complete but packs in a ton of flavor every step of the way. Using the proper confit technique results in a final product that's hard to replicate.

According to Food52, the term "confit" is used for anything — most often meat — that has been slow-cooked and then preserved in its fat. Originally created as a means of preservation, this cooking method is still popular today, because all of the flavors and fats seep into the meat during the slow cooking and then maturing period. The laborious process creates a rich, tender, and delicate meat, which lacks the greasiness that is usually present when working with this much fat. It's versatile too and can make for a great entree, side, or component of other recipes like these duck confit tacos

Another secret, to both the preservative properties and the incredible flavor, is to properly season the meat before it cooks. MasterClass Chef Thomas Keller says that starting the process with a salt cure is a key step in crafting the confit. The initial salt cure will draw out the meat's moisture which lets oils take their place. This is the first step in concentrating the rich flavors that make for a perfect confit. Removing the moisture will also help provide a crispier skin when the meat is broiled at the end of the process (via Food52).

How to properly season any confit

Salt curing is a relatively simple process, and it's a great way to add more flavor to your chosen meat. Adding dried seasonings like thyme, rosemary, garlic, or bay leaves adds even more punch to the confit, according to Chef Thomas Keller at MasterClass. Mix your chosen seasonings with enough salt to coat the surface of the meat being cooked. Then simply let the meat rest in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Some chefs call for curing for as little as one hour, but it can also rest for up to a day or longer without becoming overly seasoned (via The MeatEater). A quick rinse to remove the salt before cooking also helps things from tasting too salty.

Food52 recommends using a shorter cure time for fish. They say that 30 minutes is all that's needed for the delicate texture of most fishes. Any longer runs the risk of drying out the fish. According to Epicurious, you can also skip the salt cure for confit vegetables. We also recommend giving this TikTok hack for confit tomatoes a go. Instead, they recommend adding the aromatics and additional seasonings directly to the olive oil that the vegetables will be immersed in.