Chicken Breast Sous Vide – Praying for Summer Sun.

Chicken Breast Sous Vide (8 of 8)We are being threatened by summer here in Ireland. As with most Irish summers, there is a lot more threat than delivery. Yet, we live in hope. Each year, praying (those of us that still believe in our direct line to God) that the summer will live up to the imagined heights of the dull, uninspiring summers gone before.

You won’t find me on bended knee, praying for some decent weather. No, I am a man of action. If the Powers That Be (Me capitalising that bit is me hedging my bets) refuse to deliver on summer sun, I’m going to do what I can to make things around here as sunny as possible. What better way than with Chicken Breast Sous Vide with Ciabatta and Salad?

The chicken breast bit of this doesn't have many ingredients.

The chicken breast bit of this doesn’t have many ingredients.

This is a pretty easy recipe. All one needs is some chicken breasts, some lemon zest, butter and thyme.

The first thing to do is to zest a lemon. I show it here only because I liked the colour of the lemon zest. Note the shadowy photo. No summer sun!

A nice bit of zest adds a nice sharp edge to the otherwise soft flavours.

A nice bit of zest adds a nice sharp edge to the otherwise soft flavours.

Next, assemble the chicken breasts and other ingredients as shown in the following photo.

I got a mini assembly line going. here's the end of the line, as it were.

I got a mini assembly line going. here’s the end of the line, as it were.

Place in bags and vacuum seal.

A nice pair of breasts, if you will forgive the terminology.

A nice pair of breasts, if you will forgive the terminology.

These then need to be cooked sous vide at 65ºC for an hour. When they come out, they will look like this next picture.

They don't look so nice after sweating in plastic for an hour.

They don’t look so nice after sweating in plastic for an hour. Neither would yours.

Once sliced and served on delicious ciabatta the chicken really comes into its own.

A nice drizzling of olive oil makes this a totally delicious dish.

A nice drizzling of olive oil makes this a totally delicious dish.

I served the chicken on ciabatta, with a mixed salad, olive oil and a nice drop of white wine. It rained outside. But, we had summer on a plate and we can only hope that when those living above the clouds will see it and decide that it must be summer.

If that doesn’t work, I may just have to pray….

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  • Now that’s what I call a decent salad and sanga (Aussie slang for sandwich)! The chicken is pale but interesting, and I bet it’s full of flavour.

  • My word, that looks good. Juicy and tender and such lovely, simple flavours. Perfection.

  • At least the ciabatta brought some sunshine into your life 🙂

    • True indeed MD. we have a holiday weekend here and it is just about to pour rain. So predictable.

  • I love how easy this was for you to throw together. I so need one of these little devices. So delicious and the perfect way to greet summer. You can have a little bit of my Hong Kong summer , if you wish. Full of heat and humidity and a sweaty 8 million people kind of a summer.

    • I could do with a bit of it BAM. You can keep the 8,000,000 people but send us some sun!

  • Hi Conor – I’m interested in provenance of your poultry; what guidance can a foodie of your stature provide?

    • Hi Ronan,
      I set ‘Free Range’ as the low marker. It also has to be Irish. There are varying degrees of free range (by what I see) so it helps to also have an idea of who the farmer / producer is. Moving up the scale, one can be either confused or delighted to be paying large amounts extra for ‘corn fed’, ‘organic’ or ‘barn raised’ whatever those mean.

      A butcher friend of mine defends the price he charges for very good free range birds as follows “if you think you can get quality chicken, given that it passes from grower to processor to retailer (all taking a margin) and pay the price of a large coffee, you are fooling yourself.” I think he sums it up pretty well.
      Best,
      Conor

      • In DFW, “free range” is meaningless. All it means is you let the chicken out of its crate for a few minutes each day. It still eats commercially processed chicken feed and spends the vast, vast majority of its short life in a crate. What you want is a “pastured” chicken/turkey. This is a bird that is allowed to roam the pasture eating natural grasses, insects, seeds, dirt – essentially anything it sees and decides to eat. It’s a more natural process and the chickens are more susceptible to predators which results in higher prices. Like you said, however, you really need to know your farmer because anyone can call anything whatever they want.

        • The last time I was in NY, I ate in a sandwich bar whose clams to fame was “We only serve Natural Chicken and Turkey”. I shudder to think…

  • What a lovely meal! Looks like a really good quality ciabatta and I love the simplicity of the sandwich. Thyme, lemon and butter and a little drizzle of olive oil, perfect.

    • Yes, all we need is the feeling of the warm summer sun on our backs (We have the heating on).

  • Nice post Conor. I like sous vide chicken. It is always super moist and has a serious chicken flavor. I would imagine it makes a killer sandwich.

    • Really delicious withe the buttery, lemony, herby thing going on too. Thanks Richard.

  • Connor, both my husband and I suggest a swap – our super hot climate for yours and that delicious salad. As always enjoyed text and photos. Carina

    • Hi Carina,
      We could do with a little of it this weekend. Keep your hands off my sandwich!

  • Last time I looked at both the kinds of chickens and ‘types’ of eggs available at our supermarkets there seemed some dozen appellations most probably meaning the opposite of what one thought! Then on the same evening struck ‘foodie’ presentations of the Bresse chickens in France and some lovely fatty ones in the English countryside [courtesy of the ‘Hairy Bikers’ 😉 !] happily lost in green, green grass and just had to sigh!! Oh, am going to come pinch your thyme . . .love it so much am always running out . . .

    • The thyme is great. I buy a pot in the supermarket in the early season (€1.49), pot it outside and have a season’s supply. I really am a tightwad.

  • Continue to be very envious of your sous vide cooker. Lovely looking thyme…wonderfully fresh. Poached chicken is the nearest I can come to this and the shops and markets here do sell very flavoursome poules that produce succulent meat and potent broth. I remember buying a poule by mistake when I first came here. I cooked it like a roasting bird, for around an hour, only to find my carving knife bounced off the breast as though it was made of rubber. I received funny looks whenever I went into the shop for quite a few years after:)

    • Those poulet need long cooking but are worth the effort. Best stewed, as you now know well. We will be passing through your neck of the woods on our drive to BDX early next month. I can’t wait to get over there. I love France!

  • looks very moist and tasty Conor and i like the idea of walking away while the chicken happily cooks in the sous vide, nice and easy.

    • Hi Sheila,
      Very easy and the cooked chicken can be kept safely in the bag, in the fridge, for days. Delicious stuff and so simple.
      Best,
      C

  • Summer doesn’t matter when you have a nice pair of breasts!

  • Hi Conor, I really enjoy your sous-vide posts. I prefer chicken breast at the lower temp of 60C/140F. Did you do anything with the lemon-thyme-chickeny butter from the bag? I bet a bit of that would be great on that sandwich, too.

    • To my shame, I didn’t. I should have poured it over the bread, for sure.

  • This looks like the perfect summer meal- now you just need that sunshine!

    • We are being threatened by it now. I badly need some Vitamin D.

  • I can only imagine how tender chicken would be cooked sous vide! I can just taste the sunshine in that beautiful sandwich… I hope the powers that be will deliver some of it to your neck of the woods soon!

    • It’s here now. But as it is Ireland, it will probably be gone again tomorrow.

      • Such a shame. We are in the throes of summer high pressure here and terrible wildfire threat with low humidity. We had a wildfire start today just out of town and subdivisions were on evacuation alert but they got it contained to just 10 acres and lifted it. Whew! I expect huge wildfires here this year as we hardly had any snow that we rely on. We had one that burned up 6,000 acres last summer! Anyhoot, not to take away from your great recipe and lack of sun. I wish you the best! xo

        • Goodness! High risk living indeed. I hope you survive the season.

  • hi. do you brin ever?

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