Chicken breast can be dry and tough when overcooked. This is normally due to cooking at high temperatures that are difficult to regulate. Cooking sous vide ensures that this is never the case as the temperature of the chicken will not exceed the optimum temperature of 64°C, giving a perfect, consistently cooked product every time. Once cooked, the chicken can be rapidly cooled in iced water and kept for up to three days in the fridge, perfect if you have a packet of chicken breasts to use up. If cooking more than one breast at a time, make sure they are flat and not touching each other.
There are many flavours that can be added to the bag to enhance the chicken. A dash of olive oil or knob of butter will enrich the meat. You could try adding different herbs – thyme, tarragon and rosemary would all work really well.
For a luxurious meal, try adding a dash of truffle oil or even truffle slices under the skin of the chicken.
If cooking the meat as part of an Indian meal, you could rub the chicken with spices such as cumin and coriander before cooking, just bear in mind that the flavour will be much stronger than in conventional cooking techniques so you will not need to use as much.
Andy Waters’ Soy chicken with shiitake mushrooms and lightly pickled vegetables has strong Asian influences and would be well suited to this cooking method.