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One thing I love about sous vide cooking, besides its amazing ability to keep meats moist and tender, is its convenience factor. Now I am someone who likes to cook, really loves to cook, but even if you are a little timid in the kitchen you can take heart that cooking sous vide really simplifies things for you.
There may be a little bit of planning involved, but would you rather leave the planning to a food scientist figuring out a better way to add water weight to your frozen semi-meat microwave meal? It is cliché? but it all goes back to you are what you eat, literally. So why not take just a little bit of time out of your day and make something that is not only better for you but something that actually tastes good as well? OK, off my soap box.
One of the quickest meals to make is using chicken breast in the sous vide. This is a recipe for sous vide Chicken Breast in Creamy Spinach Ricotta Sauce.
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Generously salt the chicken breast with kosher salt and place in the sous vide pouch. Add the butter and bay leaf. Seal the pouch, add to a water bath pre-heated to 146°F (63.3°C), and cook for a minimum of 1 hour, and up to 4 hours.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
To make the sauce, first dice your shallot. Heat a saut? pan over medium high heat then add the extra virgin olive oil. Cook the shallots until they become soft, about 3-5 minutes, taking care not to brown them.
Once the shallots are soft, add your washed baby spinach and move it around the pan with a wooden spoon until the spinach has shriveled and is limp.
Add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the stock by half, it should take about 8 minutes.
Once the stock has reduced, lower the temperature to medium low and stir in the ricotta cheese. Be sure to mix well until the cheese is fully incorporated into the spinach and onion mixture. Simmer the mixture for about a minute, add the cayenne pepper and cream, and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Just before serving, zest in a couple of swipes of lemon zest with a micro-plane.
After the sous vide chicken has cooked for a minimum of an hour remove the breasts from the bags and serve with the creamy spinach ricotta sauce spooned on top. It goes great with a brown rice pilaf and broiled asparagus.
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