The chanterelle mushroom, the “Queen of the Forest,” whose delicate, fruity, yet spicy flavor is so-well suited to many dishes, seemed to be an ideal candidate for the confit method. With some experimentation, the following recipe slowly evolved. It’s wonderful on its own as a spread for crusty rustic breads, as an ingredient in sauces, as a filling for stuffed pork chops and chicken breasts, turnovers and ravioli.
Brush any dirt or grit from the chanterelles. If any dirt is difficult to remove, give them a quick rinse under cool running water and pat dry. Roughly chop the mushrooms into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces.
Peel and dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Coarsely chop the dried apricots. (Hint: brush or spray cooking oil on the blade of your knife to help keep the dried apricots from sticking.)
Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan over medium-low heat. Add the chanterelles, onions & garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent and the mushrooms have begun to soften. Add the diced apricots, sugar, salt, pepper and crushed chili (if using), then add the dry sherry and chicken stock.
As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has reduced and the resulting mixture is thick and jammy, about 40 – 60 minutes. Adjust salt & pepper to taste, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Put the confit into a glass jar and pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil over the top. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month. Freeze to store the confit for up to 6 months.
Wonderful with grilled meats, chicken or fish, on omelets or savory crepes.