I’m a sucker for duck confit. It’s one dish I simply cannot resist when I see it on a restaurant menu. I trace my passion for the sumptuous poultry back to a sublime dish at the retro-cool Bix Restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. It was back in the gravy days of the late 1990s and a friend and I popped into Bix after work one evening for no reason at all besides the feeling of money burning holes in our pockets, I suppose. The dish I ordered–Duck Confit with Huckleberry Sauce—was so sublime, so perfect, that I can still taste its rich, velvety, falling-off-the-bone meat and tart-sweet, syrupy sauce all these years later. I’ve been dreaming of a recreation ever since.
Back then, I was child-free with a steady job and cheap rent. Frugality was not a top priority in my dining choices. But all these years later, with a hungry toddler, skyrocketing overhead costs and in the midst of global economic disaster, let’s just say, I rarely pop into chi-chi restaurants for a quick $100 weeknight dinner on a whim. If I can find a way to eat well for less, well, I’m all over it. That’s why I was excited when our publisher, Viva Editions, gave me a copy of a little gem of a cookbook they published last year called The Frugal Foodie Cookbook. Flipping through its pages, I was immediately drawn to a recipe for Garlic Chicken Confit.