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Chicken sous vide

I decided to try making a "roasted" chicken in the sous vide machine. Well, it's not at all roasted, but it is unbelievably moist and tender, and works quite well. I'm thinking of trying this with a turkey.

Break a small (4.5 pound) roasting chicken down into its components. The wings and drumettes  can be reserved for another recipe. I freeze them until I get enough to make Buffalo chicken wings.

Separate and remove the skin from the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. For certain other recipes, like the sous vide then fried chicken, the skin can be left on, but it's not really necessary in this recipe.

Mix a brine of:

16 oz. cold water (1 pint) 1.2 oz. Kosher salt (1/4 cup) 2.0 oz. granulated sugar (1/4 cup)

Package the chicken and brine in two bags for vacuum sealing. Here's the tricky part: it's trivial with a commercial-style chamber vacuum sealer, and nearly impossible with an external vacuum sealer like the FoodSaver. With an external vacuum sealer you'll probably just want to squeeze out as much air as possible and then seal the bag shut without vacuum, otherwise you'll vacuum all of the brine out the bag.

Brine the chicken in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

Meanwhile, add the carcass of the chicken to a large pot. Dice an onion, carrot, and two stalks of celery and add to the pot. Add 48 oz. water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 3 hours. Strain off the chicken and vegetables. Reserve the large chunks of white meat for soup. Allow to cool.

Heat the sous vide machine to 160°F.

Remove the brined chicken from the refrigerator. Drain the bags, discarding the brine, and dry the chicken with a paper towel. Season the chicken with a little garlic powder, sage, and pepper. Since it was brined there's no need for additional salt. Fresh garlic can be used, but sometimes it can be overpowering in the sous vide machine, so I just used garlic powder. Seal the chicken in new vacuum bags.

Sous vide for 1.5 hours. Remove and let rest for a half hour.

Meanwhile, heat butter and flour in a sauté pan to make roux. Add some of the chicken broth to make gravy.

Here's one breast of chicken, sliced and served:

And here's everything else all prepared for freezing. Not bad for one little chicken!

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