RECIPE: Give thanks for garlic confit

Garlic confit, whose recipe includes fresh rosemary, comes together easily in the slow cooker. The roasted garlic flavor makes any savory dish worthy of a holiday. (Kellie Hynes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Garlic confit, whose recipe includes fresh rosemary, comes together easily in the slow cooker. The roasted garlic flavor makes any savory dish worthy of a holiday. (Kellie Hynes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Kellie Hynes

Credit: Kellie Hynes

Cooking friends, put your worries down. This week’s main event may weigh on your mind like an 18-pound turkey in a 5-gallon brine bucket. But if you keep this Kitchen Curious project in your refrigerator, you’re ready to make everything, and make it even better.

Garlic confit is simply whole, peeled garlic cloves that have been simmered in oil. The cloves become soft, with a rich and mellow flavor that resembles roasted garlic. Any recipe that calls for garlic is improved by garlic confit. Smooth the cloves on crusty bread, massage them under turkey skin, and whisk them into gravy.

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How many cloves should you make? A head of garlic contains approximately 10 cloves. You’ll use a lot of garlic this week, so I suggest three heads’ worth. If time is of the essence, purchase pre-peeled cloves in the produce section’s refrigerator case.

As the cloves simmer in the oil, the oil infuses with gentle garlic notes, making the oil as useful and delicious as the cloves themselves. For maximum versatility, I make my garlic confit with canola oil. The flavored canola oil can be used in high-heat recipes, like sauteed green beans and roasted Brussels sprouts, and no-heat recipes, like salad dressings. If you envision strictly low-heat uses, feel free to make your confit with a high-quality olive oil instead. Then sprinkle a saucer of your aromatic olive oil with a flurry of freshly ground pepper and pass it with the dinner rolls.

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Garlic confit benefits from a low, slow simmer, which is where the slow cooker shines. However, the garlic cloves must be completely smothered in oil, and if you have a large slow cooker, you could add far more oil than you intend to employ. Here’s where the curious gets creative. Place your garlic and oil in a ceramic baking dish, like a medium-sized ramekin, and then place the baking dish inside the slow cooker. There’s no need to put anything underneath the baking dish; if it goes in the oven, it can go in the slow cooker.

Your homemade confit contains no preservatives, so it’s vitally important that you keep it in the refrigerator, and discard leftovers after seven days. But because it’s so easy to make more, every week’s meals can taste like a holiday.

Garlic confit comes together easily in the slow cooker. The roasted garlic flavor makes any savory dish worthy of a holiday. (Kellie Hynes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Garlic confit comes together easily in the slow cooker. The roasted garlic flavor makes any savory dish worthy of a holiday. (Kellie Hynes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Kellie Hynes

Credit: Kellie Hynes

Slow Cooker Garlic Confit
  • 2 1/2 ounces peeled garlic cloves (about 30 cloves or 3 heads)
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Place the garlic in a single layer in a 16-ounce round baking dish. Pour the oil on top. Add the rosemary. Place the baking dish in a slow cooker and cover. Cook on low for 2 hours, until the garlic is soft.
  • Allow the dish to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Use a fork to remove and discard the rosemary. Pour the garlic and oil into a sterile jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, and the freezer for up to 1 month. Makes 16 servings of about 2 garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of oil.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 126 calories (percent of calories from fat, 95), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 14 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.
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