Sous vide fried chicken
Traduction tres bientot
Last night, I played a little bit with sous vide. When you think of it, what you’re trying to achieve is a perfectly cooked and textured inside and often you’ll treat the outside the traditional way, by browning it either before or after it’s cooked. Everybody loves a good crust, whatever crust it is. While thinking about this I asked myself this question: “How would fried chicken taste like if I start it sous vide and finish it in the fryer?” The only way to answer my own question was to actually try and do it, and it’s what I did. Here’s how.
Sous vide Fried Chicken. - 60.5° [50 mins] -
I bought 2 chicken breasts, seasoned them with kosher salt (Can use coarse sea salt), pepper and piment d’espelette – Light chili from the south of France – You can use a smaller amount of cayenne pepper. No herbs.
Once that was done it was time to vacuum pack the breast separately. I love these little bag that you get with the La.va vacuum sealers. They’re the perfect size for the breast or any individual portions of anything really.
A knob of butter (Remember I love butter.) and close the bag.
I cooked chicken sous vide before and I usually use 60.5 for a good hour depending on the thickness of the breast, so I didn’t change this time around and stuck with this temperature, but reduced the cooking time to 50 mins as the breast were thiner than usual. To vacuum seal, I’m using a la.va V.300 Premium. It’s a very good machine, the great advantage with it, is that you can control the pressure of your vacuum from -0.2b to -0.9b which is unique feature not found of most of the non-professional vacuum sealer, it allows to vacuum seal soft food without destroying them.
I set my Swid (Immersion circulator) to 60.5 degrees for 50 mins.
While the chicken was cooking I realized that I didn’t plan any vegetables or side dishes and I didn’t buy anything anyway. I was rummaging through my fridge when I found a couple of corn on the cob so I went with that. I prepared them quite simply, blanched them in boiling salted water then under the grill for 5 mins for colour.
I also had to prepare the dredging for the fried part of the fried chicken. It consisted of equal parts of self raising flour for lift and corn meal for crunch, I also added a tea spoon or so of curry powder and salt to make it extra tasty. I didn’t have buttermilk last night so I used straight whole milk, it would have been better with Buttermilk (Like the tanginess). Ten minutes before the chicken was ready I heated a heavy cast iron skillet filled with 2 inches of Rapeseed oil (Canola oil). It reached 180°C (350°F) just when the chicken was finally cooked.
I fried it a couple of minutes on each side, just enough to cook the flour and get a nice golden brown colour. Took it out of the oil and let it rest on kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.
Here’s the result.
The outside was crunchy and extremely tasty, thanks to the curry powder and the inside was juicy and perfectly cooked. I was just a bit disappointed by the crust, it had the tendency to detach from the breast. I need to do more testing to see what caused that, never had the problem with uncooked chicken when I do traditional southern fried chicken, but all and all it was very, very good and anyone who ever cooked chicken sous vide can imagine how perfect the combination of the soft, moist chicken with a crusty outside can be. By the way I took the picture before placing the corn under the grill. You really need to try this out. I’ll post again when I’ll try to make a crust that stick better to the chicken breast.
Chicken breast, enough for your guest.
Salt – Kosher or sea
Freshly ground pepper
A good pinch of piment d’espelette or half in cayenne pepper
For the dredging. Equal parts:
Self rising flour
salt to taste
Curry powder to taste
Buttermilk or Whole milk.
In a stirred bath: - 60.5°C (140.9°F) [50 mins] -
Time depends of thickness of food. See Douglas Baldwin Practicle Guide to Sous Vide Cooking for information