People new to Sous Vide should really familiarize themselves with the principles involved. It changes the way you view other cooking processes, too, because of its scientific, yet simple engineering. I have a lengthy files page in the Facebook Group devoted to exactly that, but people frequently receive a circulator as a gift or buy on impulse. Just so eager to try it out, they are unwilling to wait. I know the feeling.
LET’S COOK SOMETHING FURREAL!
Eggs are frequently mentioned as an entry level learning model, but let’s skip forward to something that has a little bit more cachet. Hopefully, readers will gain a certain sensation of instant gratification, now that you have dipped your toes in the Sous Vide Bath. eewww.
We wrote this recipe for one serving only, but feel free to multiply the amounts as desired.
Sautéed Chicken Breast, Sous Vide
- 1 ea. skinless, boneless, chicken breast, approx.. 5-7oz.
- 1 egg, beaten.
- 1 tablespoon AP flour.
- 1 tablespoon Dijon or your favorite mustard.
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs.
- 1 oz. butter.
- ½ oz vegetable oil.
- S+P to taste.
- Place chicken breast in a heavy duty, Ziploc Quart Bag. If you decide to do more than one, make sure they are spread out — not stacked. The picture shows skin-on chicken, with all the parts, but the principle is the same.
- Use the displacement method to remove excess air. Without getting any water inside the bag, slowly submerge the bag in cold water — the pressure of the water will force the air out of the bag.
- Seal the bag, and it will be water/air tight.
Process the chicken breast in 135F water for 4 hours. Make sure it is submerged—this is very important.
- If you do not have an immersion circulator or tank, you can perform this step using a pot on your stove. You will need an accurate thermometer.
- Fill the pot to almost full with hot tap water, and check the temperature.
- Heat on low to somewhere between 135F-145F — this requires very little energy from your burner.
- Use a lid to partially cover the pot to adjust the heat — get it as close to 135F as you can, and check it every half hour, if possible.
- if the temperature varies, adjust it again; add cold water to the pot if necessary, etc.
Plan or make the rest of your meal, while your chicken swims
If you make mashed potatoes (in the traditional manner, for example), you can put them in a quart zip-lock and hang them in your pot, along with the chicken (in separate bags). 135F is plenty hot to keep them safely.
Carrots and other root vegetables can also be cooked, bagged, and hung on the pot to stay hot. This gives you a little time to pre-board your dishwasher
Green vegetables tend to turn black when sealed up in a bag, keep that in mind.
While you’re waiting, or, if you just got home from work and the chicken is ready, let’s make a simple, simple, simple, sauce for the chicken.
Ingredients For the Sauce:
- 1 oz white wine of your choosing (optional). Marsala also works, Sherry, but no red wine—weird color.
- 2 oz. heavy cream even evaporated milk will do—measure it!
- Pinch garlic powder.
- Pinch S+P1 oz. cold butter.
This sauce can be made stovetop, or even in a microwave oven. I am not prejudiced against the microwave oven. It is a tool.
Procedure for the Sauce:
- Put the wine in your pot and heat until it steams. This barely takes a minute. Or, zap it in the microwave in an appropriately sized measuring cup, glass or plastic.
- Add the cream, garlic powder, and S+P, return to heat, bring to boil. Takes about a minute in the microwave.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the cold butter, and stir lightly, until it melts.
- Do not return to a boil after this point. The sauce may separate after a while but just stir it again before you use it.
Back to the chicken, which is now ready to be finished.
- This is how the chicken will look–again, I have all parts with skin on in this pic, but the idea is the same.
- Remove the chicken breast from the bag, and put it on a pie pan, something oven proof. Pat it dry on both sides, and put the smoothest side “UP.”
Sprinkles in the forecast
- Since the breast still has moisture on the surface, sprinkle with a tiny bit of AP flour.
- Paint the breast with beaten egg. You might see a little parsley in my egg wash, I like parsley. It is my Umami
- Paint the top side of the chicken breast with the mustard. Use a brush or a dull knife, just try to make it uniform.
- Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs. They will stick to the mustard. Take your time, no rush.
- Drizzle the crumbs with melted butter or dot with softened.
Stand by to Brown
- Use the broiler function of your oven, gas or electric. The breast is fully cooked, so we are just forming a little crust. It will get bubbly and crusty and brown, and black if you leave it in there too long.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, set aside, and turn off the oven. That’s the part I always forget. “Why’s it so HOT in here?”
- Stir the sauce and put it on the plate. Put the chicken on top. It should look something like this.
- Garnish with your favorite vegetables and starches, or, serve it Spa, like this.