Level of difficulty 2.75
Preheat the sous vide bath to
135 F/58 C
Seal the chicken breasts in vacuum bags and stage into the bath. Process for a minimum of
This will pasteurize the chicken. If necessary, the interval can be extended by 2 hours+ without the chicken becoming overcooked–this is a unique characteristic of sous vide resulting from the precise temperatures applied. After the time has elapsed, remove the chicken breasts from the bath and submerge in iced/tap water until they achieve 70 F/21 C. Refrigerate to 40 F/4 C–this is necessary to maintain food safety. In this state the sealed packages can be safely refrigerated up to two weeks before proceeding to the next step in this recipe, or any other recipe on this website that calls for sous vide processed chicken breasts.
Remove a chicken breast from the bag, pat dry and place on a paper towel.
Powdered egg white is a great convenience and is inexpensive. It is pasteurized and shelf stable. It is a great way to avoid coming in manual contact with a substance that most people find to be unpleasant in texture.
Use a dredge/shaker to dust the surface of the chicken, or use a pastry brush to paint with beaten fresh egg white.
Use a spray bottle to mist lightly with water–this is not necessary if you use fresh egg white.
Sprinkle the seasoning mix on the surface of the chicken.
Spray lightly with PAM/aerosol cooking spray (or drizzle with a few drops of oil).
Lay a dry paper towel on top and turn the breast over.
Repeat the process. Once completed, allow 15 minutes for the crust to fully cling to the chicken. The chicken can be refrigerated at this stage if preferred.
Stage the coated chicken breasts into heat proof Lipavi racks.
The Sous-B-Q Smoking Process
Hot smoke the chicken in a pellet grill or smoker set to the lowest possible setting–usually approximately 180 F/82 C. Smoke for 4 hours or until the internal temperature achieves at least 125 F/52 C, whichever comes first. A cold start can be used if preferred to avoid exposure to the toxic gases emitted from the smoker. If desired, a conventional oven set to 225 F/107 C can also be used–in this case, the process will take approximately one hour.
Heat over time controls the ultimate internal temperature, but a clock or timer cannot be used to MEASURE the internal temperature. Invest in a probe thermometer–at least until you learn to determine the level of doneness by sight and feel.
From simple to complex, chicken breasts prepared as per this recipe go well with almost anything.
The “spa” presentation above includes very common ingredients. Even so, peaches, cottage cheese, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and little else add color, altitude, and a healthy attitude.
Drizzle with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and a little balsamic syrup.
The ever popular stir fry model with assorted vegetables, pineapple, sesame seeds and even the most generic teriyaki style sauce is transformed into a visually vibrant and tasty alternative.
The conspicuous absence of the all too familiar paprika driven reddish tint adds an intriguing hue, followed of course by the burst of umami dominant flavors. As another novel approach, there is very little peppery “kick” to this rub other than that provided by the ginger.