Chicken in a bag

Late to posting this: a couple of months ago I became intrigued by John Thorne’s writing on poached chicken, in his first book, Simple Cooking. He modifies a recipe by Barbara Tropp, where you submerse an entire chicken in boiling water, cover it, turn off the heat, wait for two hours and then eat. Thorne uses a Reynolds oven-proof bag (first time I’d come across this item, but it was available at my local supermarket), and increases the cooking time to three hours. You rub the chicken with olive oil and herbs, put it in the bag, and then suck all the air out of the bag, or at least as much as possible. I’m not a huge fan of sucking on a bag containing a raw chicken, but it is an absolute must since the chicken will not submerge otherwise.

Do not attempt this recipe if you like attractive food. The chicken will emerge pallid and sweaty, though “meltingly tender” and, as Thorne puts it, “full of its own flavor.”

5 thoughts on “Chicken in a bag”

  1. Sounds ideal for preparing chicken for use in salads. It also brings to mind the fad that emerged some years ago for cooking food in dishwashers.

  2. That’s basically “sous vide”, which is all the rage right now with molecular chefs (ugh). You vaccum seal the meat then cook it for really long times (like 12 hours) at a very low temperature (like 140F).

    Patrick’s cutting edge, yo.

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