An Attempt At Sous Vide

Sous vide

Sous vide

I’m back! I’ve done and dusted my assignments for a while now and I’m back home for my month-long sojourn filled with many days lazing in bed and indulging in my current obsession, Friday Night Lights. I’ve pretty much blazed through three entire seasons in under a week. I’m totally addicted and can’t believe I have never watched this show before. It’s just so good!

I’ve been wanting to try the sous vide cooking method for a while now but never got around to it. Like any true obsessive personality, I did copious amounts of Googling to see how it can be done at home without spending too much money. There appears to be many forms of equipment you may need to buy to do proper sous vide cooking but for something I was merely experimenting with, I didn’t want to break the bank.

I went with the basics: a stockpot, a thermometer, a ziploc bag.

And I referred greatly to all the information provided by the Cooking Issues blog over HERE. There’s a list of links on the bullet list of that post that’s highly informative as well. It’s great information and so very useful, if slightly geeky. But I love the geeky aspects of this blog, which I highly recommend. Everyone needs to read this blog! Especially if you love food…

Sous vide

I marinated my chicken with some butter, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Then I chucked it into the stockpot and let it cook at about 64˚C for about 1.5 hours.

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Chicken fresh out of the bag

Gravy

Gravy…

I poured the juices left behind in the bag out and into a saucepan; added white wine, some chicken “stock” from my mum’s Hainanese chicken rice dinner the night before, and Lea & Perrins sauce. Whacky and I may have overdid the alcohol…

Plated

Sous vide chicken with orange + caramelized fennel salad

I then browned the chicken on a grill pan just to get some colour on it.

Chicken

Sous vide chicken

Overall, I’d say it was okay. I think I messed up a little so I need to redo this correctly and give my final verdict then. My mistakes were:
– Too much meat in one bag
– Various cuts of meat in the one pot
– The bag wasn’t completely “vacuumed” (see Cooking Issues blog link above on their method of “vacuuming” a Ziploc bag)
– I over-seasoned
– I didn’t regulate the temperature well enough (I should have calibrated my thermometer better)

I was almost disappointed with the results but it was pretty much a trial and error run so now that I now where I tripped up, I can fix that and hopefully the results will be even better.

Salad

One of my favourite salads

Dinner spread

Dinner spread

Served it up with some mash potatoes as well.

I can’t wait to try this again although I’m pretty sure there needs to be an easier way to regulate the temperature. I have a dish in my head involving sous vide lamb… Stay tuned for part two.

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