Getting Votes With Sous Vide Chicken.

Sous vide chicken with herb polenta (8 of 9)The Americans are gas. They have the biggest democracy on the planet and they end up with the Donald as one of the two contenders for the most powerful position known to man (or to woman, if Hillary gets the gig). ‘The Donald’ has tried to attract specific groups by playing to their fears. This will prove to be a mistake. If I were to take a similar approach, we would build a wall in the Irish sea and I would call out some lovely Irish blogs (like Donna Hennessy’s A Cookbook Collection or Katia Valadeau’s Proper Food and say that you shouldn’t vote for them because they are run by women. Worse than that, Hennessy is the name of a drink and that Valadeau one is not even Irish. How can we let these people into an awards competition, let alone into the country? But, I’m not ‘The Donald’. Have a look at their blogs (if you must) and then vote for whoever you think is worthy. 

You could also vote for Rory Kelly, The Bicycle Thief. But, would you want a crim in a position of influence? I’m only asking questions, ultimately you have to decide. There are a few other very questionable entries (or so the Big D might say) but, let’s not focus on them. 

If I were you, I would think about voting for a sophisticated, mature, handsome and modest blogger. Somebody who can show you a recipe for Sous Vide Chicken with Herbed Polenta. You are well-educated (and pretty good-looking yourself) and I know you won’t fall for flattery. So for a bit of tasty dining, here’s how you should go. 

Sous vide chicken with herb polenta (1 of 9)

A winning combination, unlike how the Republican team are looking right now.



  • 4 high quality, free range, organic, corn-fed, etc, etc chicken breasts.
  • A big handful or three of parsley
  • A big handful or four of dill
  • A sprig or two of rosemary
  • A lime to slice
  • Zest of another lime
  • 3 hot chilis (The Donald might say NOT Mexican)
  • Polenta for four people (read the pack as the instructions vary)
  • Salt and pepper to season stuff.
  • A few knobs of butter for the chicken
  • A glass of white wine for the gravy
  • 1/2 pint of chicken stock or concentrated stock for the gravy

The great thing about sous vide is once you stick the food in a bag, you can pretty well forget about it until near eating time.

Sous vide chicken with herb polenta (2 of 9)

The chicken, seasoned, buttered and lime added for flavour.

In so many ways this is like attracting a voting public. The chicken, like the candidate, needs to be seasoned, then, like the public, it needs to be buttered up (add a knob), and then lime is added for harmony of flavour. Unlike in an election, at this stage, you can seal all that in and keep it.

Pop the bags of chicken into a water bath and cook at 65ºC for an hour. During that time, chop the herbs and chilli. Zest the lime.

Sous vide chicken with herb polenta (3 of 9)

The dill is delicate so one needs lots.

Make the polenta according to the instructions, adding seasoning and the zest, the chilli and herbs when the polenta is just about cooked. We don’t want to cook the herbs, just warm them enough to get their flavours into the polenta.

Sous vide chicken with herb polenta (5 of 9)

Just like a voting public, the polenta needs to be stirred.

Turn the polenta out into a baking dish lined with cling film. Smooth it out as much a you can. Like in politics, some things can’t be smoothed over.

Sous vide chicken with herb polenta (7 of 9)

This was as smooth as I could get it. Still a winner..

Take the chicken out of the bath and brown the skin side on a cast iron skillet or frying pan. Remove it and keep it warm. Add the chicken stock or concentrated stock cubes and a glass of white wine to the skillet and reduce to a nice, flavoursome gravy.

Side note on glasses of white wine: If you are running in an election, stay away from the wine. If you are cooking in the kitchen, sneak a glass or two while you are cooking. Nobody will notice and you won’t be called out as a dipso by the Donald. 

Sous vide chicken with herb polenta (9 of 9)

I love the Gewürztraminer with this dish. It is the ideal running mate for the chicken.

If you are going for president, don’t partner up with somebody with a name like Gewürztraminer. Nobody will be able to pronounce it (particularly if you are chasing an unsophisticated voter).  If you are doing that, an ideal candidate would be somebody with a memorable name, like Palin perhaps? However, if you are matching this meal, the Gewürztraminer is an ideal partner for this lovely chicken dish.

The Voting Bit – August 23rd Deadline – Voting Now Closed

Thank you to everybody who voted for me in this bit of fun. I really appreciate your support.


Thanks for voting. We need a worthy winner. Imagine the mess this would be in if The Donald ran my food blog!

Footnote on the food blogging scene in Ireland. There are some fantastic blogs out there where the passion and enthusiasm of the bloggers comes straight through and really engages. The three mentioned above, Rory, Katia and Donna are all very different in approach and are amongst my favourites. They are nice people too and that helps.

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Latest comments
  • I’m sure you chicken was delicious, but the polenta looks amazing! I will be trying that myself.
    I voted – I do hope you’re not a carpetbagger like Trump 😉

  • That’s the thing about bloggers. They’re not sending their best votes. And I tell you something. People say this, I don’t know. But it’s true. That chicken looks great. I’m 100% certain if I had it I would eat it. So you’re a great food blogger. If you don’t win this vote, I guarantee you the competition is rigged. It’s the truth.

    But the polenta, Conor. It’s not Irish. It’s not American. I don’t know what it is. I hope it’s not crooked. I don’t know, people say it. I hope you win.

  • As someone outside the US, I find the Trumpster’s appeal incomprehensible. He’s a nasty, bigoted, mysogynistic, demagogue and hatred-whipper-up. He appears to be singularly poorly qualified to be in charge of the Big Red Button, both on moral grounds and in terms of experience.
    On the other hand, the appeal of your magnificent chunks of cornmeal and chicken is blatantly obvious, highly deserving of all praise, and if the frickin voting thingo would let me, I would. Apparently, as on previous occasions, I’m too Antipodean…

    • Kate – I clicked on the ‘Voting now Open’ on Conor’s script, not on the coloured ‘circus’ thingy – I got straight thru’ and was able to vote after filling in a form and giving a password and . . . try that!!!

      • Success! No ‘Errror 505 You Are An Australian Convict And Unfit To Join The Human Race’ message this time. One Man’s Meat is surely on the way to victory. And I feel I should point out that your hairstyle is infinitely more aesthetically pleasing than the Trumpster’s ‘golden Brillo’, too 🙂

  • Actually, playing to fears is a time-honored and effective way of garnering votes in the US, from what I see. Trump’s mistake is not doing it judiciously … Now, I don’t think you need to build any walls in Ireland, but you might drop a few hints that reading those other food blogs causes blindness… BTW, you got my vote 🙂

  • Your writing is always damn good – but tonight you ran the 100 and the 200 and got gold medals all around! Now I have been working 11 1/2 hours straight, so I DO hope Kate is not going to be mad if I say ‘ditto’, underlined, bolded and in caps re her Trump comments . . . how a country of 323 million people who manages to win some 80 medals or whatever cannot find a legally sane candidate . . . Well, Joe Biden, here just recently on a whistle-stop visit, did smile most charmingly to say ‘Don’t worry’ – my current problem: liked ‘the other one’ eight years back and the love affair has worn off. So: I live in Australia and have no right of say and our problems are somewhat smaller . . . Oh, I DID VOTE AND THE VOTE WAS ACCEPTED: had to fill in a form and give full rank and serial number, but the pages told me I had voted but not to do so for the second time!! Oh and food, glorious food’ – love polenta and you have given me my new and definitive recipe! Thanks Milord!!

  • As an American I’ll admit I’m embarrassed by our country right now. We’re all going to hell in a hand basket it seems… You have my vote Conor! <3

  • Oh, I was allowed to vote! Yippee, do you think the US will let me vote too? Good luck Ye canny and witty mad bugger. You had me at polenta.

  • Nice idea with the polenta. I wouldn’t go over 60 degrees for the chicken. And of course I’ve voted for you.

  • Me too, as in spite of the Brexit vote I was allowed to vote for you. Next year I think they should have a Canny and Witty Mad Bugger category, you’d be a shoo-in. Good luck. 🙂

  • Please. Don’t give the vulgar talking yam any tips on getting votes.

      • I can’t take credit for it. The wonderful American political writer, Charlie Pierce, gets all the credit.

  • Brilliant! Thanks for the shout out Conor. I’m sacrificing my own vote for you 😉
    The chicken looks mighty fine too.

  • Would you rather have Killary as President? The absolute most corrupt crime family in the history of American politics. They have cheated their way to the top for the last 30 years. She has lied in every position she has ever been in. Her scandals are endless. Where are these racist statements Trump has said? Who cares how many women he has slept with. At least he’s honest an yes WE WILL BUILD THAT WALL. Apparently you are all blind to the sharia law that is happening all over Europe. Rapes are up more than 100% in Germany since dear Merkel has let in all the Syrian refugees. What is wrong with vetting people? People who came to this Country 50 years ago learned English and assimilated. Now they just use it as a place to get free food, lodging and health care. Most of us “white people” are tired of working to pay the way for everyone who wants to use our Country. Have you seen the kitchens in Europe? Most of you don’t even have full sized refrigerators, washers, dryers, 3 car garages. We have all this and 2500 square foot homes because we have capitalism. Hillary would have us all be EQUAL. The whole world POOR. Including the U.S. The demorat socialist party will not be happy until we are all equally poor.

  • Lovely looking polenta. Great post as always Conor.

  • Always refreshing to see how the rest of the world views us wacked-out Yanks. Do do so with a beautiful sous vide recipe is pure genius. May Donald lose! I’d vote for you any day.

  • Walk in our shoes with the current administration and then we can talk. Meanwhile, love your recipe and of course I voted for you. Good Luck!!

  • I voted for you, despite the stringent voter registration law apparently in place through the moderators of this campaign. I mean, it’s OK for Texas to employ such ridiculous laws (because they don’t tend to affect German-Jew-Texans). But an online campaign? I’m offended! Have y’all consulted with the likes of Rick Perry?

    One more thing… I’ve been one of your faithful for years and I don’t know how to pronounce your name. Is it a short ‘O’ or a long ‘O?’ That said, I don’t know how to properly pronounce Bono’s name either. Help. Please?

    And good luck in your campaign. I would invite you to participate in similar U.S. campaigns, but you’d have to provide a birth certificate and your tax returns.

      • Florida and their damn paper ballots! Thank goodness your election doesn’t hinge on their ass-backwardness.

  • Of course you’ve got my vote, Conor. Even if this was my first visit to your blog, that polenta alone is vote worthy. I’m just glad I got here today, before the polls closed. I have to keep my inbox more current. 🙂

  • I voted for you but gosh darn it I hate that Rory Kelly was up against you, I love his reckless stories! But I voted for you for your consistently excellent photography and humor. I do hate both US presidential candidates this year. I’m a afraid it will be a sad day at the voting booth for all…

  • I came too late to vote. My apologies! As for politics, I’m baffled. It is incomprehensible to many of us Americans, let alone the rest of the world. I don’t think Canada will take me with their stringent immigration laws, but I have hopes I might get into Mexico before the wall goes up, mi amigo. Perhaps I can find a coyote/coyotaje to smuggle me across the border.

    The chicken looks amazing, grits and all!

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