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Faux sous vide, try this!

Rhee Apr 6, 2009 05:12 PM

Last weekend I tried an experient that turned out better than I would have believed. I had a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts that I needed to cook. I think of boneless chicken breasts as being tasteless, dry and not worth eating.

I've read about sous vide so I tried something new. I took a two quart saucepan, added water, chicken bouillion, sliced ginger and the green part of six scallions and heated it to a boil. Then I turned off the heat and added the whole package of chicken breasts, each sliced about 1/2 inch thick. The broth immediately cooled to lukewarm because the chicken was cold.

Then I turned the flame under the pan to the little inner ring only on my cooktop, very very low heat on a good sized full pot. I came back 3 hours later to find the most wonderful result.

The chicken was barely cooked, velvet soft and melt in your mouth juicy. I put the whole batch in the refrigerator to cool, then tried the chicken the next day. The slices were fragrant , perfumed with scallion and ginger. The boullion added enough salt to flavor the chicken to offset the scallion ginger flavors. I had turned straw into gold!! It was really delicious at room temperature.


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  1. j
    jaykayen RE: Rhee Apr 6, 2009 05:24 PM


    3 Replies
    1. re: jaykayen
      Bryn RE: jaykayen Apr 6, 2009 05:40 PM

      It's not very popular anymore, so it is understandable Rhee thought it was novel.

      1. re: jaykayen
        AndrewK512 RE: jaykayen Apr 6, 2009 06:28 PM

        Since when did poaching take 3 hours?

        1. re: AndrewK512
          KTinNYC RE: AndrewK512 Apr 6, 2009 06:38 PM

          When you think you are making a sous vide?

      2. e
        ESNY RE: Rhee Apr 6, 2009 06:04 PM

        Not faux sous vide.... you poached the chicken.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ESNY
          Rhee RE: ESNY Apr 6, 2009 06:54 PM

          The result was differenct than any poaching I have done. The temperature was significantly lower and there was much less liquid in the pan than poaching. Three hours and it was just barely done. The result was much greater flavor immersion and a different texture. I call it faux sous vide because the result was similar to what happens with sous vide, or at least what I have read about.

          1. re: Rhee
            Joe MacBu RE: Rhee Apr 6, 2009 09:35 PM

            The greater flavor could be because you allowed the chicken to cool in the broth. When a piece of meat slowly cools after being fully cooked, it absorbs some of the liquid.

        2. Caroline1 RE: Rhee Apr 6, 2009 10:21 PM

          For faux sous vide, you need to put the chicken and other non-water ingredients into a cryovac bag, seal it, THEN slow cook it on your cook top. True sous vide uses a rather expensive thermostatically controlled immersion cooker. As others have pointed out, you simply poached your chicken. An entirely different concept.

          1. sfumato RE: Rhee Apr 9, 2009 11:39 AM

            If you think of chicken breasts as tasteless and dry, then you should be introduced to farm chickens and brining (not necessarily at the same time :))!

            We have a meat (CSA) share, and the chicken breasts we get are super flavourful and juicy (brined or not). Same goes for the turkey breast on our Thanksgiving birds from them.

            1. janetms383 RE: Rhee Apr 9, 2009 03:37 PM

              why buy b-less s-less chicken breasts if you feel they are not worth eating?

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