We know even the mention of sous vide can induce anxiety. For those of us who mostly rely on the heat of our stovetop or oven to cook poultry, the idea of cooking it in a slow water bath at an exact temperature can seem foreign or intimidating. Really, getting started with sous vide is as easy as can be. And with one of our favorite machines, you'll get reliable results every time.
While it's not the best way to cook everything—there's a certain crust and char you can only get on Korean fire chicken when you grill it over hot coals or get it real close to the fire in your oven's broiler, for instance—we call on the power of sous vide to get these seven juicy, tender recipes on the table.
Traditionally, confit is a technique that calls for gently cooking meat in a large amount of its own rendered fat. While that method results in tender meat and lots of flavor, it also requires quite a lot of work—and fat. Sous vide is a perfect match for duck confit, as the tiny bit of fat rendered from the duck legs during cooking is more than enough to fill the vacuum bag and surround the meat.
Confit duck legs aren't the only dish that lend themselves especially well to sous vide cooking. Duck breast is an ideal candidate, as the water bath can cook the meat to a pink medium-rare and begin to render off the fat in the skin, making it easy to crisp and brown on the stovetop right before serving.
Cooking chicken thighs with the sous vide method gives you unparalleled control over the final texture of the meat. Even when baked or grilled thighs are cooked to the exact same temperature as sous vide ones, they won't have the same level of juiciness or consistency of texture. Here, the moist and tender thighs are balanced by a simple mustard pan sauce.
Bland, dry chicken breast is a thing of the past. Or, at least, it is for you. Because when you cook chicken breast sous vide, you can choose exactly what the outcome is. Whether you like your chicken soft and juicy, tender and slightly stringy (we don't judge), or juicy and firm, you'll be able to decide just how you want it.
All too often, chicken salad is a mask for already-overcooked chicken. Even covered in sauce and piled on a sandwich, the dry, flavorless meat is noticeable. That's not what's going on here. Cooking the chicken sous vide guarantees the juiciest meat, and adding aromatics directly to the bag before cooking means you'll have powerful flavor in every bite.
This sous vide turkey breast with golden-brown, crispy skin is our best case for eating turkey year-round. The meat already has plenty of its own flavor, and cooking it sous vide means it'll never be dry or rubbery again. As an added bonus, we crisp the skin until it's like the greatest potato chip of all time and serve the showstopping dish with rich, smooth gravy.
This deep-fried sous vide turkey porchetta is over-the-top in all the right ways. After carefully rolling layers of herbs, turkey breast, and skin into the turchetta, the whole thing is cooked sous vide until juicy and tender. Then, it's fried in a pot of oil until all sides are golden-brown and shatteringly crisp.
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