Monday, January 14, 2013

Cornish hen sous vide


I have had a fascination with sous vide cooking for several years. Unfortunately I can't afford professional equipment and have made do with attempts to use standard pots and pans and thermometers. Today I had my greatest success ever. Much of it is due to our range which has a center/rear burner for very low simmering. I put a large pot of water on it and managed to hold it right at, or near, 160 degrees for 3 hours. As for the bird, it was brined for 2 hours and then sealed in a freezer bag with a stick of butter, a couple sprigs of sage, some garlic, and some pepper. I was able to squeeze out nearly all the air, enough so that the bag sat down in the water in the pot. The resulting texture was of utmost tenderness and moistness. The flavor was gentle and delicate, all in all a delight.

If you aren't familiar with sous vide, I'd suggest you Google the term. Probably you will find a more comprehensive description than little old me can provide. It's doubtful that things for which I might like a lower temp will be possible, such as seafood, eggs, and such, without a circulating heater. But one can certainly try various cuts that require long cooking. Maybe ribs, roasts.

4 comments:

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

You're ambitious!! I'd love a real sous vide machine or an immersion circulator, too. Great job doing it with out the fancy equipment!

belleau kitchen said...

oh if only we could afford the real equipment... did it make a big difference to the chicken? I must give it a go!

Jenn said...

So obviously, there was no issue with the bag breaking? I love the idea of cooking like this, I'm just nervous to try it. I know it would produce luscious food though, I've had chicken cooked the sous vide way before and it was melt in your mouth amazing!

Chris said...

I am looking into making my own sous vide using a Johnson Controls A-419 controller spliced into the power cord of a crock pot. It's not exact but it is close.

The guest on BBQ Central Radio this Tues is going to be talking about the ability to serve chicken at internal temps below 165f if you cook the chicken at lower temps LONG enough. Can't wait to hear that discussion.

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