Cooking chicken breast to perfection can be challenging. The difference between having an undercooked pink chicken breast and one with a dry texture. It is difficult to get the best results for chicken breast when cooked using the traditional ways.
The USDA recommends that chicken should be cooked at 1650F, the internal temperature to get rid of the salmonella for our safety. Salmonella in chicken is killed at 1620F. Killing salmonella involves both temperature and time.
At 1650F, salmonella is dead in less than 10 seconds. As the temperature decreases, it takes more time to kill salmonella. In effect, if you need to cook chicken at about 1360, then you need to keep it at that temperature for about an hour to make sure that it safe to eat.
Other than concerns over food safety, bland and dry chicken breasts are also often an issue. Temperature control is the secret to cooking perfect chicken breast. It is almost impossible to cook chicken at low temperatures for a long time to maintain its juiciness and to get rid of salmonella.
The sous vide cooking method provides other alternatives. The sous vide cooking method now allows home cooks to be able to cook chicken breasts at low temperatures for a long time and achieve the right doneness using a Sous Vide machine.
Chicken breasts can be cooked safely and with precision making the technique a popular choice even in restaurant kitchens.
What You Need to Cook the Recipe
- Chicken breast, 2 pcs (6 ounces each), skinless and boneless
- Butter, 1 ½ tablespoon
- Kosher Salt
- Bay leaf, 1 piece
Spinach Ricotta Sauce
- Shallot, 1 piece, diced
- Baby Spinach, fresh, 2 cups, washed
- Chicken Broth, 1 cup
- Ricotta Cheese, ¾ cup
- Cream, ½ cup
- Cayenne Pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Lemon zests
- Extra Virgin Cooking Oil
Chicken Breast (Prepared 2 – 5 hours prior to serving)
- Pre-hear water bath at 630C or 1460
- Rub chicken breast with Kosher Salt and place inside vacuum pack plastic or zipped lock pouch.
- Toss in bay leaf and butter.
- Vacuum seal the pouch.
- Drop to the pre-heated water bath.
- Cook for between 1 – 4 hours.
Recommended reading: Ultimate Guide to the Best Sous Vide Vacuum Sealers
Spinach Ricotta Sauce
- Heat pan over medium heat.
- Add extra virgin cooking oil.
- Cook shallots until soft without browning them.
- Add baby spinach. Mix well with a wooden spoon until limp.
- Pour in the chicken stock. Boil over high heat until reduced to half.
- Turn the fire to medium low.
- Add in the ricotta cheese.
- Thoroughly mix cheese, onion and spinach.
- Allow mixture to simmer for 1 minute.
- Add in the cream and cayenne pepper.
- Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Place chicken breast in a plate and pour over the Spinach Ricotta Sauce.
- Serve with broiled asparagus or brown rice.
As you use the sous vide cooking method with chicken breast, you will make it perfectly tender to be sliced even with only a butter knife. All the flavor juices of the chicken are intact and the texture and flavor are preserved which makes it tasty.
In cooking the traditional way, the outer part of the chicken breast is often overcooked to make sure that it is well cooked inside and safe to it. This however, makes the chicken dry and acquire a tough texture. Cooking the sous-vide way makes sure the chicken is done perfectly. Making it evenly cooked in both at the center and the edges at the temperature you would want it to be served.