Pasta Rags with Chicken Confit, Asparagus, and Teardrop Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups Chicken Confit, shredded, recipe follows
- 1/2 pound asparagus, blanched and cut into 2-inch spears
- 1 1/2 cups teardrop or grape tomatoes (different colors if available)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound pasta rags, cut into 2-inch pieces, cooked al dente and tossed with olive oil
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling over pasta to finish
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus 1/4 cup, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus 2 tablespoons, for garnish
In a saute pan, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the pan is hot, saute the shallots and garlic for 1 minute. Add the chicken and asparagus and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, stir to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside. Drop the pasta rags in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove and drain. Turn the pasta into a mixing bowl. Toss the pasta with the extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Fold in the chicken, asparagus, and tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons chives and season with salt and pepper. Place the pasta in an over-sized shallow pasta platter. Garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano, chives and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.Chicken Confit:
4 chicken leg portions with thighs attached, excess fat trimmed and reserved (about 2 pounds total)
1 tablespoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 cups olive oil
Lay the leg portions on a platter, skin side down. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and black pepper. Place the garlic cloves, bay leaves, and sprigs of thyme on each of 2 leg portions. Lay the remaining 2 leg portions, flesh to flesh, on top. Put the reserved fat from the chicken in the bottom of a glass or plastic container. Top with the sandwiched leg portions. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Remove the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and chicken fat and reserve. Rinse the chicken with cool water, rubbing off some of the salt and pepper. Pat dry with paper towels.
Put the reserved garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and chicken fat in the bottom of an enameled cast iron pot. Sprinkle evenly with the peppercorns and salt. Lay the chicken on top, skin side down. Add the olive oil. Cover and bake for 12 to 14 hours, or until the meat pulls away from the bone.
Remove the chicken from the fat. Strain the fat and reserve. Pick the meat from the bones and place it in a stoneware container. Cover the meat with some of the strained fat so that there is a 1/4-inch layer of fat on top. The chicken confit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
The excess oil can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used like butter for cooking. The tinge of chicken taste in the oil is wonderful and I use the oil to roast potatoes, cook green beans, and pan-fry veal.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 14 hours
Inactive Prep Time: 12 hours