Pan-seared, sous vide, chicken thighs with thyme
Pasta, Pesto and Peas
Irish Brown Bread
I bought an Avono Sous Vide “Precision Cooker” earlier this year (June 2018). These are various notes. Last updated 09/01/2018.
08/25/2018 – “boneless chicken leg meat”
On a whim, I bought a sealed 5# bag of “boneless chicken leg meat” from my local megamart thinking it could be placed in the sous vide bath as is. While it worked out OK I won’t be taking that approach again.
My approach was similar to the chicken thighs from 06/23/18. I used 165°F water for 90 minutes this go around, which took close to 3 hours total with the ramp-up time to get to temp. The first problem was that the bag tended to float; weighing it down with a ceramic bowl did the trick.
At the end of the 90 minute cooking time, I transferred the sealed bag to an ice bath to cool down the chicken. After about 15 minutes I went to remove the bag only to find that problem number two arrived; the bag split open and water got in. Not a huge deal but the chicken definitely had that boiled chicken smell that isn’t the most appealing.
The largest problem I found is that the chicken pieces in the bag had started to merge together into a single amorphous blob of chicken meat. I was able to pull it apart where the chicken skin was still on the pieces, however, it was not terribly elegant looking. Luckily I had planned to grill the chicken and that allowed for a more rustic look.
I grilled the chicken for only a couple of minutes per side, just enough to get some grill marks on the meat and reheat the cooled. The end result was pretty tasty, juicy chicken with a bit of grill flavor.
I won’t try this approach, with the 5 lb. sealed pack of chicken leg parts, again. I might use the 5 lb. bag again but will have to open it and properly prep/vacuum pack the contents.
07/14/2018 – Garlic Herb Pork “Tenderloin”
I purchased 2 “cook in bag” pork “tenderloin”s from the local mega-mart. I’m putting the tenderloin in quotes because, after cooking, I found these weren’t tenderloins at all but smallish loin pieces. It still worked ok. These were intended to be oven roasted. You cute a vent hole in the plastic wrapper, place it on a tray and bake for some time. I figured I could use them unopened as sous vide.
I looked at this recipe on the avonaculinary.com website and decided 145°F for 90 minutes was for me. I left the pork in the original bags; if it was ok to cook in the oven, I figured it would be fine in a water bath, which it was.
After 90 minutes @ 145°F I moved both pork loins to an ice bath to cool it off. After 15 minutes I removed them from the ice bath, opened the packaging and found a pork loin rather than a tenderloin. I finished mine on the grill (gas, preheated on full for 15 minutes, 2 minutes per side, rested for 10 minutes after removing from the grill).
They were decidedly pink inside, which some folks found not desirable. Next time I’ll try 150°F. 2 loins served 9 with about 1/3 leftover.
8 chicken thighs and 8 sprigs of thyme (split between 2 bags)
10 qt. hot tap water in the Cambro container.
165°F water for 75 minutes
pan sear in vegetable oil for 3 minutes to crisp skin
pan sauce of no-salt chicken broth to deglaze the pan, lemon zest, butter
Verdict: they were good but not great. Since the thighs were already at 165°F the time in the skillet pushed them closer to 175°F. No discernable thyme flavor.
Also, the liquid in the vac pack was still red, so I didn’t use it in the pan sauce. Ted suggested I look up what temp hemoglobin moves from red to tan.
Chile Verde Pork
Grilled foil-packet potatoes with rosemary
Sauteed Swiss Chard
Beets with Orange Zest
Pavlova with fresh Strawberries and Chocolate Sauce
My husband turns 36 this week so we had a bit of a party to celebrate.
Kickin’ Corn Dip with tortilla chips
Cheese, Crackers, and assorted cured meats
Fritos and Onion Dip
Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and Veggie Burgers
Cauliflower Green Olive Salad
Fruit Salad (pineapple, papaya, watermelon)
When in doubt pull out an old menu that worked well.
Tacos – ground beef, ground turkey or summer squash
Rice and Beans (using this recipe as a guide)
Various taco fixin’s – salad greens, 2 salsas, corn relish, sour cream, cilantro, sambal, shredded cheese, sliced avocado
Corn or flour tortillas
Chocolate Chip Cookies and Mystery Peeps for dessert
The rotation of chicken thighs and various cuts of pork gets old, at least for me. So I leaned toward turkey this week. I’m fairly certain that turkey tenderloin is a made up cut off the turkey breast. Still, it fit the bill and didn’t require defrosting in the fridge.
St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to be about just corned beef and cabbage.
Though I did make cabbage this week. I was looking for a recipe to match a braised red cabbage we enjoyed at a (semi-)local fine dining restaurant, the Castle. This is an old-school “fancy”, dress-up-for-dinner, sort of place that my family goes to for special occasions. We went with my mom and sister to celebrate what would have been my dad’s seventy-seventh birthday. The red cabbage that was served with our entree was tender and flavorful with a touch of sweetness. I asked what went into it and learned that it was cooked a long time and had a touch of red currant jelly. That was enough of a clue to find something online. The rest of the menu was pretty much built around the red cabbage dish.
Gingerbread with Whipped Cream
You've been warned.
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