Confit (/kɒnfi/, French pronunciation: [kɔ̃fi]) (from the French word confire, literally “to preserve”) is any type of food that is cooked slowly over a long period of time as a method of preservation. In meat cooking, this requires the meat to be salted as part of the preservation process.
For those unfamiliar, confit is a French cooking technique that involves submerging and cooking food in fat over low heat for a long time. It was originally used as a preservation technique. For the most part, the fat is usually butter, oil, or animal fat (e.g. duck confit, which is cured duck legs cooked in duck fat).
Garlic confit is one of the best elixirs a person can make. Since the garlic cloves are cooked through and soft, you can mash the garlic cloves easily and spread them on top of bread for a delicious spread or garlic bread. You can also add them to dips, such as homemade hummus, salad dressing, mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower, or other vegetables!
Use the palm of your hand to separate the heads of garlic carefully. Using a small sharp knife, trim the ends of each garlic clove and then peel each clove, leaving it intact.
In a medium baking dish, combine olive oil, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. The garlic should be completely covered.
Bake about 45 minutes until the garlic gloves are soft, fragrant, and lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature.
Store in a glass jar, ensuring garlic is covered with oil.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 weeks.
Note: I have cooked the garlic at 350°, below the smoke point of Olive Oil.