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If you’ve been paying attention to food trends lately, you’ve very likely heard of sous-vide, even if you’re not completely sure what it is. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try the sous vide cooking method.
That’s because undeniably, poultry is where sous-vide shines. Unlike red meat, which can be eaten with a gradient of done-ness so the outside is gray and the inside is pink, with poultry, you need to cook it through. With a larger cut, like turkey breast, it’s impossible to cook the inside without overcooking the outside. Sous vide allows the entire piece of turkey to cook at the same time, so it’s completely, perfectly done. It‘s amazingly flavorful and never, ever dry!
Don’t let the name intimidate you. Sous-vide (soo-veed) means ‘under vacuum,’ a reference to the way food is packed before you cook it using this method. The equipment used to cook the food is called an immersion circulator, so you’d properly say, “I’m cooking this delicious turkey sous-vide,” not “I’m cooking this delicious turkey in the sous-vide.” But I digress. Why are people going crazy for sous-vide cooking? And should you jump on the bandwagon?
The premise behind sous-vide is actually simple. In traditional cooking methods such as dry heat (baking, roasting, broiling, frying, searing) or moist heat (boiling, braising, poaching, simmering), the goal is to get the center of the food cooked to the temperature that you want it to be.
Unlike grilling, here’s how sous-vide works:
Season your food (or even add a marinade or sauce) and place it in the bag you’ll be cooking in. You can invest in a vacuum sealer or just use Ziploc® bags (Brand name bags seems to leak less).
To vacuum seal with a zip top bag, place the item in the bag, then keep the zip top open and lower the bag into the water immersion circulator. Allow the water to press the bag closed, and lower it in until just below the zipper, so all the air is now pressed out. Then, zip the top and remove the bag from the water bath.
Bring the water in the circulator to the temperature that you want your food to be, and then place the bag back in the water bath with the immersion circulator. Cook it for a predetermined time, then remove from the bag and pat dry. The sous-vide cooker circulates water around the pot. The circulation prevents hot and cool spots from forming in the water to ensure even temperature throughout your food. Your food never overcooks. It’s just how you like it, every time.
Note that there are several types and brands of precision immersion cookers ranging in price from about $119 – $169. Many can be controlled remotely via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Kosher.com will review several brands, prices and other accessories in future episodes.
If you already own an immersion circulator or plan to purchase one in time for Turkey day, try this great recipe from Michal Frischman for Kosher.com.
SOUS VIDE LEMON HERB TURKEY
1 2-pound (1-kilogram) boneless, skinless turkey breast, sometimes known as turkey London broil (see note)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon fresh
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspooon salt
2 tablespoons flour
Mix the honey, lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper. Place the turkey in a heavy-duty ziplock bag or in a vacuum sealer bag. Add marinade to the bag. For a ziplock, submerge the bag in a bowl of water until just below the opening of the bag so the air is squeezed out, then seal the bag. For a vacuum sealer, set the machine to wet seal.
Place the turkey in a sous-vide set to 143°F (62°C). Cook for four hours or up to eight hours.
When ready to serve, heat oil and flour in a small saucepan. Stir well and cook for one minute. Add the juices from inside the turkey bag and whisk until no clumps remain. Slice the turkey thinly and serve with gravy on the side.
Note: You can follow the same time and temperature for any size turkey you would like to use.
Variation: To cook in the oven, keep the skin on and bone in. Bake at 375°F (180°C) for about an hour or until the thickest part of the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (70°C). Remove and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes
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Check out the kosher.com ongoing cooking series, where they will address choosing the right times and temperatures in sous-vide cooking for a range of different foods, and much more.
You can also rely on recipes for sous-vide at www.kosher.com, at many other online resources, and on the app your immersion circulator is linked to. Over time, you will likely want to experiment and come up with recipes on your own.
Stay tuned for the entire sous-vide series only at Kosher.com. They will have you cooking like a professional chef in no time!
And, you won’t want to miss this Sous Vide Video (http://www.kosher.com/shows/video/155/two-easy-ways-to-start-cooking-next-level-ribeye) – Watch Chef Gabe on Episode 6 of ‘Under the Hood’, only on Kosher.com. Chef Gabe takes two cuts of ribeye to the next level with his seasoning and cooking techniques. Watch as he sous vides then sears the eye of the ribeye, or Spencer Steak, and then perfectly sears a ribeye crescent. These two ribeye ideas are sure to make your next steak a winner.