6 Rangitikei free range chicken legs (Ballotine)
2tbsp rock salt
1tbsp crushed black peppercorns
2 cloves of garlic, sliced finely
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 crushed bay leaves
2 litres of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp ground white pepper (optional)
a few extra sprigs of thyme for cooking
Cover the chicken legs with the first five ingredients and marinate overnight or at least for a few hours. Rinse the legs in cold water to remove the marinade and pat dry.
Lay the chicken, skin side down in a large pot, add the oil, white pepper and thyme, cover and cook at a very low heat for two hours. The oil should be barely trembling.
If you are not serving the chicken immediately, allow to cool then transfer legs and oil to an earthenware dish. They will keep in the fridge like that for up to two weeks. When you want to eat them, gently bring confit to room temperature in a bain-marie, drain the legs then sauté them, skin side down, till golden and crispy. Alternatively grill them.
If you are eating the chicken immediately, remove the legs from the oil, place on an oven tray with grill and brown under the grill – it only takes a few minutes.