Darxus

I made the juiciest most tender plain chicken, with a cooler and a plastic bag - sous vide

I made the juiciest most tender plain chicken, with a cooler and a plastic bag - sous vide

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August 2011
  1. Thaw about 2 pounds of chicken breast.
  2. Fill cooler with 60°C (140°F) water.
  3. Put chicken in ziplock bag, seal it (partially submerge to squeeze air out).
  4. Put in 60°F water for 3 hours.
  5. Occasionally heat some of the water to maintain temperature.
  6. Eat.
Thanks to [info]xuth for posting about this subject and leading me to it.

This method is called "sous vide", French for "under vacuum" - because it started with vacuum sealed bags. Of course, it works with all meat, and probably everything else. Maximizing even cooking, moisture, and tenderness. Only downside is it doesn't brown, so if you want that, pan sear.

Two great articles on the subject:
http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/sous-vide-basics-low-temperature-chicken.html - nice graph of time vs. temperature (at center) to cook chicken till it's safe. For 60°C (140°F) it's 35 minutes. Recipe recommends 1.6 to 10 hours (including time to warm center).
http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/the-food-lab-perfect-rack-of-lamb.html - cooking with a cooler.

I'd get you a picture, but really it just looks like chicken. It just hasn't had all the juice unnecessarily cooked out of it.

This is one of the reasons I bought a thermapen - an expensive but awesome thermometer, seemingly widely recommended by food geeks.

My hot tap water was ~50°C, so I worked out I needed about 4 parts hot tap water to 1 part boiling (100°C) water to equal 60°C. I ended up heating some of the water 3 times while the chicken was in there, I'm sure I can cut that down.

Something I want to try an approximation of is these deep fried sous vide egg yolks. I highly recommend looking at the picture.
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