Sous Vide Chicken Breast

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a sucker for new kitchen gadgets and cooking techniques. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. One technique that’s been getting a lot of airtime recently is sous vide, or water bath cooking. But while it seems like a bit of a fad, sous vide has been in use for over 200 years and in serious use for 50 years. 

Sous vide means “under vacuum” in French and is a straightforward and effective way of cooking poultry, meat, and fish that ends up succulent, most, and most of all, correctly cooked*. And with sous vide circulators these days going for under $200US there’s no reason to not give it a try. I did recently with some chicken breast and it was the best chicken breast I’ve ever tasted. 

So you will need to get your hands on a sous vide circulator (I use the clip on Sans Aire) and a vacuum sealer, such as a FoodSaver. As usual, I went over the top recently and installed an Irinox chamber sealer but it’s completely not necessary for this recipe. 

You’ll need:

  • 2 chicken breasts on the bone
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Pre-heat the water via the circulator to 66C.

Rinse the chicken under cold water. Season the skin with salt and pepper and place a slice of lemon on each breast. Vacuum pack the breasts individually – make sure to roll the edges of the bag down before you drop the chicken in to ensure there is nothing preventing a good seal and to avoid contamination. 

Drop the chicken into the water bath and cook for one hour.  Toward the end of an hour heat a skillet or fry pan on medium/high heat with the canola oil. 

Remove the chicken from the water bath and take out of the vacuum bags. Pat dry and then place skin down in the skillet. Press the breast against the edge of the pan to get good contact and fry until brown (2-3 minutes, usually). 

Take the chicken out of the pan and lay on a cutting board to rest. With your hands, simply remove the breast from the bone (this should happen very easily). Cut the breast into slices on a diagonal bias and then serve with the olive oil.

Seriously, look at how moist this chicken breast is! This is after resting and slicing...

See, sous vide isn’t that complicated! And you’ll never look at chicken shop chicken the same ever again. Enjoy!

* Sous vide can go wrong if you don’t follow precise times and temperatures. You can also get people sick. I recommend you do some research before you do serious sous vide cooking. My recipe here is simple and hard to mess up but you’re on your own – I take no responsibility for your outcomes.

Chef Mark Hix - Roast Chicken With New Season Garlic Sauce

Here at Gourmet Male we are always on the lookout for guest chefs who can share their incredible recipes with us. We've had some crackers over the years but today's guest chef, Mark Hix, is definitely one of the best we've had. If you don't know Chef Hix, educate yourself! He is the Chef/Owner of Hix Oyster and Chop House, Hix Oyster & Fish House, and Hix Soho. And we're lucky enough to feature his recipe at the time when he's just launched Hixter Bankside in July (details here)! 

As I've found so many times, if you just ask you'll be surprised at how gracious people can be. So, thanks to Chef Hix for his "Roast Chicken with New Garlic Sauce". Enjoy!

This dish was inspired by several visits to L’Ami Louis in Paris, where the food is simple and honest, respecting the quality ingredients used.  We buy Swainson House Farm chickens, which have an amazing gamey flavour.


  • 1 free-range chicken, about 1.5kg, with livers
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a few sprigs each of thyme and rosemary
  • a few generous knobs of butter

FOR THE STUFFING

  • 60g butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100g chicken livers, chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 80-100g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve

TO SERVE

Baked new season garlic sauce (see below)

Straw potatoes (see below)

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.  Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper.  Put the herbs into the cavity.  Rub butter all over the breast and legs. 

For the stuffing, melt the butter in a pan.  Add the onion, livers and thyme, season and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  Off the heat, mix in the breadcrumbs, parsley and seasoning.  Either use to stuff your bird or cook separately in an ovenproof dish wrapped in foil for the last 30-40 minutes. 

Put the chicken into a large roasting tin and roast in the oven, basting regularly and adding the livers to the roasting tin for the last 6 minutes or so.  Test the chicken after 1 ¼ hours by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh.  The juices should run clear; if not roast for a little longer.

Lift the chicken onto a warmed platter and rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with some more chopped parsley and serve with the roasted livers, stuffing, garlic sauce and straw potatoes.

Baked new season garlic sauce

  • 4 heads of new season garlic
  • a few sprigs of curly parsley
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard, or more to taste
  • 70g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 tbsp duck fat, warmed, or the pan juices from the roast chicken
  • a little milk, to mix
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Makes enough for 4

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.  Wrap the garlic bulbs in foil and bake them in the oven for 1 hour.  Unwrap and leave until cool enough to handle, then peel away any tough outer skin.

Put the garlic into a blender with the parsley, mustard, breadcrumbs and warm duck fat or chicken juices and blend until smooth.  Add enough milk to give the sauce a thick pouring consistency and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with roast chicken.

Straw potatoes

  • 4 large chipping potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, Spunta or Maris Piper, peeled
  • vegetable or corn oil, for deep-frying
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • sea salt

Serves 4

Using a mandolin with a shredding attachment or a sharp knife, cut the potatoes into long matchsticks, about 3mm thick.  Wash them well in a couple of changes of cold water to remove the excess starch, then drain and pat dry on some kitchen paper.

Heat an 8cm depth of oil in a deep-fat fryer or other suitable deep, heavy pan to 120-140C.  Deep-fry the potatoes in manageable batches (a couple of handfuls at a time) for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander.

Increase the temperature of the oil to 160-180C and re-fry the potatoes with the garlic slices in batches, moving them around in the pan, until golden and crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.  Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.

Alternatively, you can keep the straw potatoes warm, uncovered, on a baking tray in a low oven until ready to serve.  They should stay crisp but if not you can briefly re-fry them in hot oil to crisp them up again.

 The best way to cook a quality chicken is simply, and on the bone.  Try varying the vegetables

Hixter Bankside - New Launch!

Here at Gourmet Male we're always keen to help get the word out for great new restaurants. And as part of an upcoming guest post, Chef Mark Hix sent through the details of his new venture, Hixter Bankside. Damn, I wish a trip to the UK was in my near future! But if you're anywhere near London I'd say give this a go. Nothing like amazing chicken and steaks!

Background

On 30 July 2014, Mark Hix opened his first restaurant south of the river – Hixter Bankside. Ideally situated across from the Tate Modern, and just a short walk from Borough Market, and with its great design and unique commissions, Hixter Bankside is set to become a distinctive addition to the neighbourhood, and ideal for those hungry for art. Hixter Bankside builds on Mark’s already well-liked concept of serving a whole roast chicken or steaks of 250g and 500g to share. This simple approach means that 2-3 people can share a whole roast chicken, with chips and salad for £25 and steaks from £20. Quality and value for money with a backdrop of great design and thought-provoking art from leading British artists is at home here.

Mark's Bar, a second outpost of Mark Hix's award-winning Soho cocktail bar is located in the basement, with stunning 'New York' style design and a cocktail menu championing British drinks.

Typical Dishes

  • Six Porthilly rock oysters with spicy Sillfield Farm sausages
  • Cock 'n' Bull croquettes
  • De Beauvoir ‘Hix cure’ smoked salmon with shaved fennel
  • Portland crab with Isle of Wight ox heart tomatoes and chives
  • Roast barn-reared Indian Rock chicken with stuffing and chips for 2-3 to share Griddled piri piri spring chicken
  • Glenarm mighty marbled sirloin steak with chips and béarnaise Herb-roasted Chateaubriand for 2 to share
  • Hixter Chateau steak with watercress and shallot salad
  • Ronnie’s Bramley apple pie
  • Salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts

Wine/Drinks

International wine list starting at £18.75 per bottle, with 20 available by the glass, from £5. Champagne from £39.75 (£8 glass). A selection of artisanal cocktails available, including The Avenue £9 (Four Roses Yellow bourbon with Somerset Royal 3 year old cider brandy, passion fruit nectar, Mark’s grenadine and orange blossom), and the famous Hix Fix £13.50 (Morello cherry in Somerset apple eau de view topped with Nyetimber Brut Reserve), and an extensive rum and whisky collection.

Price Range

Snax: £1.50-£16.95; Starters £8.25- £14.50
Swainson House Farm chicken: £13.50-£25; Glenarm Mighty Marbled Steak: £13.50-£75 Puddings: £6.50-£14.50
Kids under 10 eat for free every day from 4 to 6pm.

Opening Hours

Hixter Bankside: Monday-Saturday 11.30am-Midnight; Sunday 11.30am-11pm Mark’s Bar: until 1.30am

Design

The beautifully designed 140-seat restaurant, located in a Victorian metal factory, comprises of over 7000 sq ft and is divided between two striking dining rooms and a cocktail bar - Mark’s, in the basement. The restaurant features a vast glass fronted kitchen, neon signage by Tracey Emin, and show-stopping work by leading British artists Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Henry Hudson, Pauline Amos, Gary Webb and Mat Collishaw. The Cock ‘n’ Bull dining room, which overlooks the open plan kitchen, is available for private hire for up to 10 guests. The Parlour is also available for up to 50 people seated or 70 standing, while Mark’s Bar in the basement can host private dinners and parties for up to 100.

Miscellaneous

Full address: 16 Great Guildford Street, Southwark, London, SE1 0HS
Reservations: 020-7921 9508 Website: www.hixterbankside.co.uk Twitter: @HixterBankside Nearest station: London Bridge/Southwark


Sartago's Paella - Guest Post

Every now and then we've had the privilege of having top chefs from around the world share their favourite recipes on Gourmet Male. We've had Australian, Italian, English, and American chefs talk about what they love to cook. Today is no difference as Chef Riccardo Messora of Sartago Tapas Wine Bar in Richmond, VIC has chipped in with his Uncle's favourite paella recipe. And if you're a regular visitor of Gourmet Male you'll know we not only love our Spanish food, we absolutely adore paella. Enjoy! 

an-Paella-20from-20Sartargo-20reastaurant-20120730112324658622-300x0.jpg

My uncle's Paella “alla Valenciana”

Ingredients for 12 people:

  • 4lt        Chicken or veg Stock
  • 500 gm    Pork short ribs
  • 500 gm    Chicken thighs boned and diced
  • 1 kg        Paella rice (Calasparra, Bomba, or alternatively Arborio)
  • 2 doz        Tiger prawns cleaned (tail on)
  • 2 ½ doz    Mussels
  • 2 ½ doz    Clams        
  • 4 ea        Red capsicums (peeled from raw and sliced in ½ cm strips by 5 cm)
  • 1 ea        Onion finely chopped
  • 4 ea        Garlic cloves minced
  • 7 gm        Saffron threads
  • 1 tbs        Tumeric ground
  • 2 tbs        Paprika mild
  • 500 ml    White wine
  • 500 gm    Tin diced tomatoes
  • 500 gm    Peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 150 gm    Chopped parsley

 

Method:

1- Gather, prep and have ready all ingredients before start cooking

Note: This recipe is quite a large amount, so it is important to have a large enough pan. The ingredients don't have to be too much on top of each other, and the burner should cover almost all of the bottom of the pan. As this is a summery dish, this recipe can also be cooked on top of a BBQ outside, as long as there is an even heat all round. Paella burners, which are designed especially for this dish, and are also quite easy to purchase online or in cooking shops. No lid is required while cooking a paella.

2- Heat some olive oil in the paella pan or a shallow & wide frying pan, and brown ribs and chicken.

3- Add the capsicums, onion and garlic. Fry for 5 minutes

4- Mix all the spices together and dust them all round, fry for 5 minutes then deglaze with white wine

5- Add the rice, stir a little, spread even and pour in half of the hot stock.

6- When the stock has been absorbed, add the tin tomatoes and the rest of the stock.

7- When the tomatoes and rest of the stock starts to absorb, place all the seafood on top in an alternated circular fashion and slowly allow to cook

8- At the same time scatter the peas around the pan

9- When the rice is cooked, the dish is ready

10- Chop the parsley, sprinkle on top and serve

Sartago Chef Riccardo Messora.jpg

Thanks, Chef! We love having new gourmet males join us on our culinary journey. I can't wait to visit soon.

Sartago Tapas Wine Bar
Chef Riccardo Messora
460 Church St
Richmond, VIC (Melbourne)