Did you watch the 2013 season of Top Chef Masters?
If you did, then you probably remember chef Sang Yoon. Yep. The ketchup-hater.
Well, he owns two fabulous restaurants that are just a few minutes from our apartment.
Lukshon, an asian-fusion restaurant is one of my absolute favorites. It’s home to my favorite sparkling rose, luscious silky broths, and succulent spicy noodles. It’s my go-to place for a celebratory dinner or date night.
But realistically, we can be found more often at Father’s Office, Yoon’s casual, cooler, sister restaurant that serves up one of the best burgers in LA, thin and crispy fries, and a huge selection of craft beers.
I almost always get the burger at Father’s Office (and yes, there’s no ketchup allowed, only aioli), but one time I went rogue and got the salad.
I know… a SALAD at a burger joint??
But this wasn’t just any salad. It was a duck confit salad over bitter greens with a delicate orange vinaigrette.
And omg it was so good, I ordered it again the next time we went to Father’s Office.
And then I got a little obsessed and tried to recreate it home.
I don’t know about you, but duck isn’t sold at my local Sprouts, so I swapped in a prehistoric looking whole turkey drumstick instead. It has the same vibe as a whole confited duck leg, and turkey legs are actually pretty cheap!
Next step? Figuring out how the heck to confit something.
P.S. if you don’t know how to pronounce confit, it’s “con-fee”
The confiting process is actually relatively simple and hands-off.
You simply submerge your piece of meat (or veggies- garlic confit is super popular) in a pot of olive oil and slowly simmer for hours and hours until the meat is fall off the bone tender.
I like to finish the turkey with a quick high-heat cook in the oven to crisp up the skin, because let’s be honest, crispy skin is the best part of home cooked poultry, am I right?
But really, once the confit is in the oven, you can hang out and do something else for the afternoon while the meat simmers away, and it’ll be ready and waiting for you come dinner time.
Confited meats are super rich.
I mean, you DID just cook it entirely submerged in oil for hours 😉
So to balance it out, it’s perfect served atop a lightly dressed bed of bitter greens, with a fresh orange vinaigrette, crunchy salty nuts, and delightfully sweet dried figs.
Nom nom nom.
This meal is definitely a cooking project, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! You get to be creative and try a new cooking techqniue, AND totally impress yourself and your family with a restaurant quality salad with fancy confited meat 🙂
- 4 whole turkey drumsticks
- Sprinkle of kosher salt
- Sprinkle of ground black pepper
- 1.5 liters olive oil
- Cloves from 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 1 shallot, halved and peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large head curly green leaf lettuce, leaves washed and roughly chopped
- 1 small head radicchio, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
- 16 dried figs, stem ends removed, each fig sliced into 8 wedges
- 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews or macadamia nuts
- 2 green onions, minced
- Zest and juice of 1 small navel orange
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the turkey legs with kosher salt and pepper and place in a large enameled dutch oven. Nestle them in so that they are in one layer. Pour enough olive oil into the dutch oven to fully submerge the turkey legs (don't worry, you can save the oil for cooking later. It won't be wasted). It took about 1.5 liters to cover the turkey legs in my dutch oven.
Add the garlic cloves, shallot, and bay leaves to the pot. Put the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to barely a simmer. Turn off the heat, and put the unlidded pot in the oven. Let cook for 4 hours, or until the skin and flesh of the turkey has begun to pull away from the end of the leg bone and the meat is fall off the bone tender. Check on it periodically to make sure the oil is NOT boiling. If it is, turn down the heat so it is barely at a simmer.
When the turkey is done, remove the pot from the oven and set aside to cool. Use tongs to remove the turkey legs from the oil and place on a cooling rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place the baking sheet with the turkey legs in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the skin is nicely browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.
When the olive oil is cooled, fish out the garlic and shallot confit & store submerged in a bit of the oil for another use. Strain the rest of the oil into a tupperware and keep in the fridge for up to a month for all of your general purpose cooking needs.
While the turkey legs are browning, assemble the salad and make the dressing.
Place the lettuce and radicchio in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove pressed garlic, and Dijon mustard. Season with a little salt and pepper, and pour the dressing over the lettuce and radicchio. Toss to coat.
Divide the lettuce up onto 4 large plates. Top each plate with 1/4th each of the dried figs, cashews or macadamia nuts, and green onions. Place 1 turkey leg on top of each salad and enjoy!