Sous Vide Fried Chicken. Why not?

So why did the chicken cross the road?  I’m not sure, but perhaps to become sous vide buttermilk fried chicken.  Of all the answers I’ve heard to this age old question this answer appears to be the all-out winner.

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I started by setting up the Anova sous vide and reviewing a video on how to part a chicken.  Although I found a few videos on traditional methods of parting a chicken I also found the Chef Gordon Ramsay video; his technique is slightly different in how he divides and removes the breast and works a little better in my opinion. I used his cut for de-nobbing the drum to help this section of the chicken cook better, I also divided the breast into bite size cuts for kiddo nuggets.

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I followed up last week’s Cook’s Illustrated Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken by repeating the recipe with one variant: I parted the chicken, placed in the buttermilk brine, and then cooked at 150 F/ 65.5 C for an hour and a half before flash frying in peanut oil.

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After cooking for over 1 1/2 hours I removed the chicken and dredged in the flour mixture.  In this instance I heated the oil into the mid 400’s, well above the 375 degrees I used last week, the intent was to flash fry the sous vide cooked chicken just long enough to crisp the skin.

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This time the chicken took only 1 minute a side to crisp, much quicker than last weeks 8 minutes a side.  The chicken turned out as moist as last week, perhaps quite a bit more.  The most distinct advantage was the perfect cook – a few of the thicker pieces last week were still pink in the middle and had to be moved to the oven to bake a little longer, this week all pieces turned out perfect after a 2 minute flash fry.  And by tender and moist I mean this:

IMG_0037Worth the effort?  YES.

– JB –

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