Nice Little Sous Vide Chicken Breast Salad

Chicken Breast Salad

Chicken breasts can make, among lots of other things, a nice salad. And while many like the light, easy salad that you see almost everywhere, there also is a “more robust” kind of salad that I tend to like. If you really want a meal with a nice one or two chicken breast plopped on top, this is what I had in mind when I decided to fix a nice salad dinner.

This whole dish is really rather easy to make. All it really requires is a sauce made up of butter, vinegar, honey and maybe a little soy sauce to give it a color and add a little to the flavor. You’ve all heard me talk about sous vide on many occasions. But I will never make a chicken breast any other way (unless I’m cooking a whole chicken). If you’ve never had a sous vide breast, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, I can’t begin to tell you how much of a difference it makes. Can you do this without? Yep. But if you can, get a sous vide. You’ll be glad you did. 

Once the sauce is made, and the chicken is done, all you really need to do is toss the breasts on a quick grill (or some other kind of grilling machine) with a little bit of the sauce and pull together as much salad as you’d like. When the grilling is done, all you need to do is pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken and onto the salad underneath, and you’re done.

Note: By the way, this is the 501st post to this recipe site and while I had no idea we would ever get this far, it is gratifying to know that we’ve done fairly well as recipe blogs go. Much has happened since the first post a little over three years ago and there is much more to do. Stick around. I hope it gets even better. 

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Chicken Legs Sous Vide

sous vide chicken legs

By now, you know that I’ve become a big fan of sous vide chicken finished up in a deep fryer. And that’s of course where these chicken legs come from. They’re done sous vide, at 150 degrees for about an hour or so, then — after they’ve cooled — they’re breaded and deep fried, with a little finishing salt on the side.

The main issue with these chicken legs is a breading mix, which uses flour, garam masala, a little parsley, and plenty of paprika. In this case, I use the breading mix first to coat the chicken, then add some mixed egg and then roll it back through the flour as a finish. The result is rather  light and really perfect for a light dinner entry.

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Sous Vide Country Terrine

Sous Vide Country Terrine

A country terrine, or terrine de campaigne is one of life’s great joys. I tasted my first one somewhere in the French countryside between Dijon and Reims, accompanied by a flute of champagne and never looked back. This sous vide country terrine is by far the best of my several tries and I suspect I’ll never make another terrine without my trusty Anova. 

The reason sous vide works so well is that the process of vacuum sealing (my Foodsaver edge sealer worked very well for this) compresses the ground meat filling — called forcemeat or farce — and keeps it compressed throughout the process. The sous vide cooking ensures the mixture is cooked evenly and thoroughly without browning or scorching, which can happen using a water bath in an oven, despite your best efforts.

The farce for this terrine was made using a base I found at good ol’ Epicurious, but using meats I could readily get my hands on — ground pork and veal, chicken breast — but I’m looking forward now to trying some rabbit or duck down the road. The sous vide method I followed was suggested by a Twitter friend who lives and breathes sous vide, backed up by some reading at Our Daily Brine. To test the recipe and technique, I used a mini terrine mold that’s about 3×5 inches and cooked it for 2.5 hours. I suspect that would be long enough for a full-size loaf, but the beauty of sous vide is that you can cook something longer for safety sake without overcooking it (within reason, of course).

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