Monday, July 20, 2015

Chicken Breasts: White Wine & Herbs Sauce

Chicken Breasts with White Wine & Herbs Sauce 
Traditional and Sous Vide Methods
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Moderate
Sous Vide Temp: 140 – 147 degree F; Time: 2-5 hours
Sous Vide Chicken Breasts:
White Wine & Herbs Sauce 
This is the second of a duo of posts on chicken sous vide! Please see my “All about sous vide” post to get some background on this technique (

This recipe features a light sauce, thickened by the use of gelatin to form a thicker, glossier, far more stable emulsion than a standard pan sauce. The soy sauce is added to provide a big umami boost.  This is the second of a duo of posts on chicken sous vide! Please see my Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette recipe for some background.

I also provide the traditional cooking method for the boneless skin-on chicken breasts. Preparation of the sauce is the same for both methods.

  • 4 skin-on boneless chicken breasts, 6-8 ounces each
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Thyme
  • 1 Tb canola or vegetable oil
For White Wine & Herbs Sauce:
  • ½ C dry white wine
  • ½ C low sodium chicken stock
  • 1½ tsp powdered gelatin
  • 1 Tb canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tb unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tb minced fresh chives
  • 1 Tb minced fresh parsley
  • 1 Tb minced fresh tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
Traditional method:

Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450 degree F. Pat chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1Tb canola oil in an oven-safe stainless steel skillet over high heat until it starts to smoke. Carefully lay chicken breasts into hot skillet skin side down. Cook without moving until skin is deep golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken breasts and transfer skillet to oven. Cook chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast registers 150 degree F, about 7-12 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and let breasts rest while making the pan sauce.

Sous Vide method:
See previous post for the photos related to preparing the chicken. Preheat sous vide water pot to 140 degree F. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Place in sous vide bags with sprig of thyme. As I use a Ziploc bag and displacement method, I place one breast per bag – usually quart size.  If you are using a vacuum sealer, it is possible to seal multiple breasts into one bag as long as they lie flat and do not double up. Once in bag, seal closed. When using Ziploc bags, I often clip bags to side of pan. Cook in sous vide bath for at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours. Meanwhile make the White Wine & Herb sauce.
Chicken in the Ziploc bag
Slow cooking by sous vide
When ready to eat, remove chicken from bags and carefully but completely dry on paper towels. Add oil to heavy-bottomed non-stick pan or cast iron skillet large enough to hold chicken comfortably in single layer. Heat over medium-high heat until oil shimmers and begins to smoke. Carefully add chicken to hot oil skin-side down and cook until brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Turn, and quickly hear other side about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large plate, top with sauce or vinaigrette and serve. You and your guests will be amazed how flavorful and juicy a boneless chicken breast can be!
After searing

For White Wine & Herb Sauce:
Combine wine and stock in a liquid measuring cup and sprinkle gelatin over the top. Set aside for at least 5 minutes.
Beginning of the sauce
....and the herbs that go into the sauce
Place 1 Tb oil in skillet, over med-high heat.  Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine/stock mixture and cook on high heat until sauce is reduced by about two-thirds, 5-8 minutes. Stir in butter and soy sauce and cook at a hard boil until emulsified, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside. Stir in herbs, taste sauce and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken just before serving…you and your guests will love it!
Pour sauce over the chicken and serve


For a complete description/instruction on Sous Vide cooking, see my post:

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