The Semiotics of Shallot Confit

A recipe with digressions…

So. Ethical dilemma.

If you were to take, say, ten shallots. The bigguns.

And chop them. Couple of garlic cloves, too.  Don’t have to get all Robuchonny and follow the grain…. just chop.

And then spread them in a single layer of a roasting pan…

And then, say, if you were to take a 3-4 pound whole chicken,  and prep it according to Ina Garten’s Betty Page Fantasy - smeared with butter, all tied up, and I won’t even mention where the parsley goes…

By the way, you notice that I’ve stopped whining about not being able to roast a chicken? – I found that video.  Just make sure the birdie is at room temp before going into the oven and use a good instant-read thermometer. The skin will be crispy, and both light and dark meat will be juicy without posing an epidemiological risk.

Anyway.  Cook the chicken.

And then after the chicken finishes roasting and resting, the resulting pan juice and roasted shallot is dumped into a container…

Sop up some remaining pan juice with the fresh loaf of ciabatta you’ve baked.

Sidenote: OMFG.

Do you, at this point, technically, have shallot confit?

You’ve got… something.  It’s almost g-force savory, with a sweet richness that seizes your entire mouth almost before you taste it.  And it has these little charred bits that add crunch and hint at darker bitter notes, carried along by just this luscious base of, well, schmaltz.  What’s more, you know it’s shallot- it has that deeper, “redder” flavor, almost like wine, that you would never notice if the stuff was raw.

I don’t know what. to. do. here. Not only do I not know how to fully describe the “put your mouth into an electrical outlet except that it’s completely awesome” kind of taste but I don’t know what to do WITH the stuff and, more to the point, I don’t know what I am going to do when I’ve eventually run out and I somehow rupture my septum myself licking the last little suggestion of greasy goodness inside of my little tupperware container.

I want to take an entire week off from work and lock myself in a kitchen and just figure out what exactly to do with this.  I can use it as a condiment or dress up scrambled eggs or as crepe filling or can add a little to roasted potatoes…

Until then, I’m really just not sure about anything anymore.


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