Adapted from The 6 Week Cure for the Middle Aged Middle, Eades and Eades (Crown 2009)
For the chicken
- 1 whole roasting chicken (2 to 3 lbs/ 0.9 to 1.4 kg), fresh or thawed
- 3/4 cup (7.7 oz/219 g) kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon (.15 oz/4.2 g) black pepper corns
- 1/2 gallon (64 fl oz/1.9 liters) water
- Poultry seasoning and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 stick (2 oz/60 grams) unsalted butter
For the Herbed Butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced fresh chives or ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced fresh flat0leaf parsley or ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried
- Prepare the chicken by carefully removing both breasts and the two leg quarters with the skin intact (or ask your butcher to do this for you.) Bone the breasts; leave them joined, which makes a nice presentation on the platter, or separate the halves.
- Make the brine by combining the water, salt, and peppercorns in a large pot over low heat; stir until the salt fully dissolves; remove from heat and allow the brine to cool.
- Put the chicken pieces into the brine and refrigerate overnight. (If your refrigerator cannot accommodate the large pot, put the chicken pieces into a gallon zip closure bag, pour the brine over them, seal and refrigerate.
- When ready to sous vide, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse the pieces well, and pat dry.
- Cook the chicken breasts
- Fill and preheat the water oven to 146F/63C.
- Sprinkle the breasts lightly with poultry seasoning and ground black pepper and vacuum seal them in a small (quart/liter) food-grade pouch with 1/4 stick (1 oz/30 g) unsalted butter.
- Cook the breast meat for 1 to 2 hours, remove, and if not using immediately, quick chill the pouches submerged in ice water (half ice, half water) for at least 30 minutes and refrigerate the pouches for up to 48 hours.
- Cook the chicken leg quarters
- Fill and preheat the water oven to 165°F.
- Sprinkle the leg quarters lightly with poultry seasoning and ground black pepper, and vacuum seal them in two small ( quart/liter) food-grade pouches, each with a tablespoon (1/2 oz/15 g) unsalted butter.
- Submerge in the water oven and cook for 4 to 6 hours.
- Remove the pouches from the water oven and if not using immediately, quick chill the pouches submerged in ice water (half ice, half water) for at least 1 hour, and refrigerate up to 48 hours. If refrigerated, return the pouches (both dark and white meat) to a 146°F (63°C) water bath for about 30 minutes to re-warm.
- Just before serving, make the herbed butter in a small saucepan over medium heat by melting the butter and lightly sautéing the herbs.
- For serving, remove the chicken pieces from their cooking pouches, pat dry
- with a paper towel, brush them with melted herb butter, and sear the exterior until brown— about 5 to 6 minutes under the broiler.
- Arrange the turkey breasts and leg quarters on a serving platter with garnish for the
- big presentation, if desired.