Thursday, May 26, 2011

Easy to cook Chicken

Tonight I thought I'd do a real sous vide dish, so I thought Chicken and Veg. Can't get much easier than that. So I decided to get some local free range chicken and I found a place that does just what I'm after, Burrawong Chicken is only about 100 km away (which is next door by country standards). They sell to some local butchers as well as places like rockpool. I visited the local place today but they'd run out. The delivery was due yesterday but didn't arrive. As well they only take complete chickens and I've never boned out a chicken... So I took the easy way out and got some thighs from Coles. So much for being a gourmand... Along the way I grabbed some cous cous, baby carrots, broccolini (which is a variety of broccoli, sometimes sold as “baby broccoli), green asparagus spears, brussel sprouts, a lemon and some glucose.

I'd got 4 thighs so I unwrapped them and chucked them in a 5% by weight ice cold brine.

Filled the sous vide with hot water from the tap and started it off to stabilise at 64 degrees. I cut 4 thin slices from the lemon de seeded them and put them to one side. The ends of the lemon I sliced very thin (ceramic knife makes this easy) at 90 degrees to the first slices. That got tossed in a bowl with some pepper and honey. Sliced the carrot at an angle and to one side. The asparagus got peeled and the dried ends cut off. The Broccoli just had the dry ends off. All put to one side in the fridge. About 1/2 an hour had passed so the chicken came out of the fridge and under running cold water to flush the salt off. Some sesame seeds went in a hot dry pan and stirred constantly 'til they went golden brown and also put aside. Made two food saver bags up and folded the top back like a cuff to keep that away from the chicken. Pulled the chicken that had been under running water for about 10 minutes and dried it on paper towels. Chicken into the bags with a slice of lemon on each then fold the cuffs back down and into the vacuum machine then into the sous vide. Time for a break I'd been hard at it for over half an hour!

(insert time passing music)

About 2 hours later I put on a pot of water with two heaped tablespoons of bicarb of soda and start a frypan on very low with a big knob of marg and the carrots, covered with a pizza tray. While that heated up I pulled the two bags of chicken. Quite a bit of liquid had come out of the chicken, I poured that into a saucepan and put it on the stove to boil. While that heated I got the bbq going to pre heat. Back in the kitchen and the carrots got a stir and pulled the chicken juice off the boil. Poured that into a measure and made up to 125 ml with water, followed by a slop of extra virgin olive oil and back on the heat to come back to the boil. The chicken then comes out of the bags, the lemon slices are discarded and the chicken dried. Drizzle a heaped teaspoon of glucose over the chicken and massage it in. Now a helper was called in... I put the chicken on the bbq, two minutes on each side on the very hot bars. Meanwhile the helper put the brussel sprouts in the bicarb water, and 100 g of cous cous in the chicken water (off the heat), with constant stirring. After 1 minute (should have been longer) the broccoli and asparagus followed the brussel sprouts into the water and the lemon, pepper and honey mix joined the carrots in the pan. Meanwhile I'm messing around with the bbq. About 4 minutes gets a good golden colour on the chicken and it comes off to rest on the plates. The cous cous spooned out, greens come out of the water onto the plates, carrots out of the frypan (leaving behind the lemon) and get sprinkled with the sesame seeds. Couple of photos for the blog and we tuck in!

The verdict? The chicken was the best I've ever tasted. It cut with a butterknife virtually under the weight of the knife. It was far the juiciest and most flavourful chicken. The cous cous was very chickeny and I really liked it but the boss didn't like it at all. The carrots and brussel sprouts were under done but nice. Both of them could have done with another 3 minutes cooking time. All in all I was pretty impressed with supermarket chicken done like this. I can hardly imagine what free range chicken would have been like.

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