Want to know if you can make a "roast dinner" in a sous vide? Rosana shares her experiments on cooking a whole chicken in a water bath.
It’s been quite exciting times experimenting with cooking sous vide. I like a roast chicken dinner for two reasons. Firstly, it’s such a warming homely dish and secondly, the use of leftovers for another meal. I looked in to how to cook a whole chicken sous vide, I didn’t find anything on roasting, but found some information on poaching and I also learned that each part of the chicken cooks at different times and temperatures on sous vide.
After much deliberation, I did some maths, now that is dangerous since I am not good at it! Anyway, I came up with a few possibilities based on my findings. First attempt, I poached the chicken for 6 hours at 60C as per my finding online and it didn’t work for my taste, the meat wasn’t quite what I was expecting, it was a bit too pink and juices weren’t running too clear.
Next experiment - I poached another chicken for 7 hours at 62C, every degree counts on sous vide, and bingo! It was perfect! The meat is moist, juicy and the chicken still just about holds its shape.
It looked quite pale, but after a good 5 minutes under a very hot grill, you just want to crisp up the skin and not to cook the chicken. It looked very appetising. (I had tried the blow torch method but it didn’t look that great).
I also sous vided the vegetables. The onions taste so good and sweet afterwards, I made an extra dish, onion puree. Don’t worry about unpleasant breath.
This recipe is great if made on the day or in advance for a stress free roast chicken meal.
Roast chicken and onion puree - The sous vide way
: 4 people
1 small-medium chicken (1.2Kg) – small enough to fit in a pouch
1l of chicken stock, cold
400g baby onions, peeled
250g baby potatoes, washed
2 cloves of garlic
180g carrot peeled
100g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and drained, reserve liquid
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 sprig of thyme
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste
50ml of cream
chives to garnish
1) Start by preparing the sous vide (water bath): add water to it and set the temperature, in this case 85C, cook the vegetables first.
2) While waiting for the water to reach the desired temperature, prepare the chicken and vegetables.
3) Add whole trussed chicken (tied up so it holds together in the pouch while poaching), the chicken sotck, half of the baby onions, mushroom and its stock, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper, seal the pouch. Reserve.
4) In a separate pouch add the carrots, potatoes and the rest of baby onions, salt and pepper and seal.
5) By now the sous vide should be ready at 85C, if not wait and when ready place the carrot and potatoes pouch into the sous vide for 1 hour. Reserve.
6) Lower the sous vide temperature to 62C, when it reaches the desired temperature, place the chicken pouch in to the machine for 7 hours. In the last 20 minutes add the vegetable pouch to finish off cooking and re-heating.
7) Pre-heat the grill to 250C, remove the vegetable pouch, set aside. Remove the chicken pouch from bath and sieve the contents. Reserve the mushroom and onions. Place the broth in to a pan and simmer it by half.
8) Untie the chicken and place it in a heat proof dish and under the grill for 5 minutes.
9) By now the broth should be ready, add a knob of butter to achieve a shiny gravy.
10) For the onion puree: add the onions (sous-vided with the chicken) 2 tablespoons of chicken broth and cream into a blender, mix well, check for salt and pepper.
11) Serve: vegetables around the chicken, place the onion puree in a separate dish. Enjoy.
Inspired? For more sous vide recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.
Thanks Rosana! I've found that with liquids too, so tend to freeze them in an ice cube tray before vac-packing.
14 April 2014
Hi Victoria, I took as much of the air as possible manually and then sealed the bag using the seal only button on the seal machine. It gets a bit tricky with liquids to vaccum pack the bags. Let me know how it goes.
13 April 2014
I am definitely going to try this, Rosana! Did you just seal the chicken in the bag or did you vacuum pack it before sealing?
13 April 2014