Sous Vide: Chicken Legs and Thighs al Mattone

Also called "Brick Chicken," al Mattone is an internationally popular country style dish.

Ingredients

Chicken, leg and thigh, 2 each.
Powdered egg white, as needed, or fresh, one each, well beaten.
Desired seasonings, your preference, or one from our list linked HERE.

Flour to sprinkle.

Optional components:

Polenta, 1 cup prepared.
Butter, 1 oz/30 g.
Parmesan cheese, 2 oz/60 g.
Vacuum Cured Arugula, 1 recipe.

White Wine Pan Sauce, 5 oz/150ml.

Cherry tomatoes, 2-3 each.

 

 

 

 

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container.
Sous vide racks.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Flat bottomed skillet, approximately 12″/30 cm across.
Infrared and/or probe thermometer.

 

 

Above and below: Lipavi C15 container, N15 polycarbonate racks. Lipavi C15L-UNIR lid.

Notes: Legs and thighs require the same time and temperature–sometimes I need to do a large batch!

Actual prep time, 90 minutes
Serves 4
Level of difficulty: 2.5

Procedure:

Preheat the sous vide bath to
132 F/56 C

Vacuum seal the chicken in dedicated heat rated sous vide bags. Sous vide process at 132 F/56 C for 6 hours. When the interval has elapsed, submerge the packages in iced tap water until they achieve 70 F/21 C–approximately half an hour. Refrigerate at 40 F/4 C for at least two hours before proceeding. The sealed packages can be stored at 40 F/4 C for at least two weeks without sacrificing quality or wholesomeness. Try that with a fresh chicken!

Day of service:

Preheat oven to 170 F/77 C.

Optional components: Make the polenta according to the package directions. When it’s done, add a pat of butter and half of the Parmesan cheese. Store in the warming oven. Make the Vacuum Cured Arugula.

Remove the packages from the refrigerator. At this temperature, there should be a minimum of juice release in the bag.

Remove the chicken from the bags and stage onto a clean work surface–parchment works great for this. Easy clean up!

Dust lightly with powdered egg white, or coat with fresh.

Use a spray bottle to moisten the surface–not necessary if you use fresh egg whites.

Season accordingly.

Turn the chicken over and repeat the process.

Refrigerate for thirty minutes.

Dust the surface of the chicken lightly with flour to avoid sticking in the pan. Preheat skillet to 250 F/121 C.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan–just enough to barely cover the bottom.

Place the steak weight on top. You should hear medium volume sizzling. If you hear popping, turn the heat down. Watch the edges of the chicken without removing the weight to gauge the level of browning. Usually about 15 minutes.

Turn the chicken over.

Replace the weight.

Brown well on both sides. Stage into the warming oven while you make the sauce.

Use the pan to make the sauce according to the method explained HERE (Optional). Warm plates in the oven.

Place the polenta in the middle of a warm plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Stack the chicken on top. Cut the tomatoes in half and toss with seasoning and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

 

The bruised Arugula adds a colorful and tasty counterpoint.

Don’t be afraid to drizzle sauce over the chicken!

Norm King

About

The Italian name comes from the practice of weighting the chicken during cooking. The method is not actually intended to speed up the process of cooking; rather, the goal is to press the chicken flat against the pan in order to achieve an evenly rendered crust.


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