Alison Roman's Easy Olive-Oil Confit Chicken
Updated: Jun 23
You'll love this recipe because looks and sounds totally gourmet, but it's really 5 minutes of prep and then a "set it and forget it" situation. If you don't know Alison Roman, she's basically my food idol: a former baker at Milkbar and food editor at Bon Appétit, now a cookbook author and columnist for the New York Times. She specializes in "highly cookable" recipes, like this very one! This recipe is 100% based on hers, with a few changes that reflect how I actually made it at home.
Note: this is much more of a technique than an actual recipe because it shows you how to cook a chicken in olive oil (and its own fat), and the actual flavors could be totally changed up. It's important to note that your chicken isn't going to brown as much as it does when you roast it and that doesn't mean it isn't cooked to perfection. Personally, I like removing the vegetables and browning the skin a little extra under the broiler just for good measure. The final note is that after cooking, you'll be blessed with about 12 oz of infused olive oil and schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), which you can store in a mason jar and use in all sorts of cooking — when you're roasting vegetables, making smashed potatoes, or redoing the same recipe... so the 1 cup of olive oil is not a waste in any way!
2-5 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs and thighs, depending on desired serving amount
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 head of garlic, sliced in half horizontally, unpeeled (you can remove extraneous papery exterior but no need to peel it all the way!)
1 lemon, sliced; seeds removed
4-8 carrots, to taste; some sliced to keep size more consistent
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (don't use the fanciest stuff for this recipe)
Fresh herbs or carrot greens
Heat the oven to 325° F.
Pat the chicken dry and place in a pan with at least 2 inch sides, big enough to fit all the chicken in one layer, but not too much bigger. Season generously with salt and pepper. Layer the lemon over the chicken, as well as the carrots. Nestle the garlic around the chicken. Pour in the olive oil and cook at 325° F for 1 hour.
Take the chicken out, remove the carrots from the top, and any lemon slices really covering the chicken skin. Return the chicken to the oven with the broiler set to low, and cook until the skin becomes crispy, about 5 minutes.
Serve with fresh herbs on top or carrot greens.
Jeremy Scheck is the founder and editor-in-chief of Collegetown Kitchen and After School Bakery. He is a student at Cornell University in the class of 2022 studying Spanish, Italian, and nutrition. Aproveche, buon appetito and bon appétit!