Thomas Keller’s Garlic Confit and Oil

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Thomas Keller's Garlic Confit and OIl

Garlic confit, garlic slow-cooked in oil until meltingly tender, has a mild, subtle, sweet flavor and a rich texture, wholly different from what we tend to think of when we hear the word garlic. And it's a preparation that gives us several products: the confited garlic cloves can be pureed and stirred into soups, sauces, butter, vinaigrettes, and legumes and grains, and to marinades.
They can be lightly mashed into boiled new potatoes or added to boiled russets when you pass them through a ricer or food mill for garlic mashed potatoes. Sometimes we don't bother to peel them but just make a slit down their flat side, then confit them and serve them whole in their skins as a garnish - they're fun to pop out of the skin and eat whole.
Garlic confit is a great staple that will keep in your refrigerator for up to a week.
The oil that the garlic is confited in can be used in vinaigrettes or for aioli. Brush the oil on toasted baguette slices, or spread the mashed cloves on toast.


  • 1 cup peel garlic cloves
  • 2 cups canola oil


  • Cut off and discard the root ends of the garlic cloves.
  • Put the cloves in a small saucepan and add enough oil to cover them by about 1 inch - none of the garlic cloves should be poking through the oil.
  • Set the saucepan on a diffuser over medium-low heat (you can use a cast-iron pan as your diffuser). The garlic should cook gently: very small bubbles will come up through the oil, but the bubbles should not break the surface; adjust the heat as necessary and/or move the pan to one side of the diffuser if it is cooking too quickly.
  • Cook the garlic for about 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the cloves are completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow garlic to cool in the oil.
  • Refrigerate the garlic in a covered container, submerged in the oil, for up to 1 week.


From Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home (page 266).

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