Why Does My Sous Vide Chicken Roulade Come Out Stringy? - Ask Jason

I get a lot of great questions from my readers. In order to help out everyone else I'm answering some of the most popular ones here on the blog. Have something you need help with? You can ask me on Facebook, contact me directly, or view all of the Ask Jason questions!

My chicken roulade has always come out stringy.

- Owen Lee

Note: The following article is an edited transcript from the video.

I haven't done any chicken roulade, but I've made a decent amount of turkey roulade which is pretty similar and I've cooked a whole lot of chicken breasts. I'm not sure if you were using white meat or dark meat in the roulade or what sous vide temperature you used.

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Sous Vide Cooking

I've had really good results using turkey breast and cooking the roulade at a 140°F (60°C), which is generally what I like to sous vide turkey breast at. We normally think of turkey breast as being a real tender meat, but it's actually a pretty tough cut. It can benefit from longer cooking times, so I sous vide my turkey breast for about 10 to 12 hours.

This year I made a turkey roulade for Thanksgiving. The night before, I rolled it and put a dry brine on it and threw it in the fridge. When I woke up the next morning, I put the roulade in the sous vide machine and pulled it out like at 4pm when we were ready to eat.

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I wasn't really timing it because it doesn't matter. The longer it goes, the more tender it becomes, and there was plenty of time for it to turn out delicious. Chefsteps recommends 24 hours at 130°F (54.4°C) for their turkey breast recipe. I always select a shorter time than they use because I never plan that far ahead on Thanksgiving!


Make sure you don't sear it too long, as this can also cause a problem. Over searing tends to make both turkey and chicken a little tougher and stringier on the outside. If you're trying to get a real good sear, the fact that the roulade is a football shape, doesn't help.

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It's hard to get a good sear on the roulade with without overcooking it if you're just using a pan with just a tad of oil. I recommend you either use more oil to deep fry it or I cooked mine with my blow torch and on a hot pan at the same time. This combo works slick for getting the nooks and crannies while still giving you a kind of a good oil crusty sear on it.

That's the scoop on my turkey roulade. It can turn out good for you too.

If you like this you can get more than 85 inspiring recipes to get you on your way to sous vide success. It's all in my best selling book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide - Get Your Copy Today!

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All tags for this article: Ask Jason, Sous Vide, Sous Vide Chicken , Sous Vide Chicken Breast

Jason logsdon headshot This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com website.
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