The Puzzle

People frequently start their sous vide journey with steaks and eggs. We won’t go into why that is, but we will note that it’s pretty easy to figure out what to do next after these items are done. Eat the eggs, sear the steak, happy, happy. As they expand their inventory of projects, they find themselves with properly cold shocked chicken breasts and pork chops, without knowing what to do next. This is normal. We never think that far ahead, we people.

So, in the FB group that I host, also called Sous Vide Resources, people frequently ask what to do next. It’s amazing how many members chime in with ideas and answers that I myself never prescribed or even considered. Yes, you CAN retherm in the bag, but that really isn’t such a great idea. I never do it. For one thing, you’re passing your food through the temperature danger zone repeatedly, on the way up and on the way down, and now back up again.

Sous vide travels through danger zones pretty slowly, but it’s safe assuming you only do it twice–like I said, on the way up, and on the way down. Some people want to re-sv only part way, which totally freaks health inspectors out, for good reason. You just purposely brought your food into the danger zone, and left it there while you decide what to do next. Plus, you still have to figure out what to do with it after you’ve re-half-processed it, or whatever it’s called.

Okay, so, again, NOW WHAT?? The answer is simple, but not immediately helpful. The answer is “treat as raw.” If you have sous vide pork chops, take them out of the bag. BBQ them. Pan sear them. Bread them and fry them (my favorite). Cut them up and make something Asian inspired.

Chicken? Same thing. You want fried chicken? Coat the chicken just like you did before you discovered sous vide, or use one of the recipes on this site, or even in the group. Treat as raw is starting to make sense now.

But, But, But…

Well, if you have to treat them as raw, what was the point of sous vide in the first place? And that’s an excellent question. I have the answer to that one, too. Sous vide processing preserved your item, adding the convenience of then serving it whenever you felt like it. Instead of having a raw pork chop or raw chicken to angst over the doneness of, you know you are really just “heating it up.”

The thing is, if you batter it like you would fried chicken, the end result will still benefit from sv treatment. Not only will it not be pink on the bone, it will be moist, unctuous, all that good stuff. So, chill. Relax. Prep a little ahead, plan the rest of the meal. You can bread ahead of time, whatever. When you get home, instead of cooking, you are “finishing.” Good times.

Add some of this. It works wonders with the appearance.