Sous Vide Crispy Chicken With Spicy Coconut Sauce
Fun fact, I created this recipe while trying to reduce food waste and long work hours. (I hate throwing away money!) I work full-time as a PHP/Python developer for a company in Las Vegas and it often requires me to work long hours. As you can imagine there are times when a veggie starts to turn before I can get to it. When this happens I quickly turn them into a paste, or fermented product, that extends the shelf-life of the ingredient(s), gives them/it a ton of complex flavors and makes cooking dinner a snap! In fact all ingredients in this recipe, except for the chicken and coconut milk, are all custom blended creations I’ve came up with to reduce the money I lose throwing things away. I’ll briefly outline each paste used below, but a proper recipe is on the way.
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper, De-seeded
4 Green Onions
3 Inches Ginger (Peeled, or Unpeeled, is fine.)
5 Garlic Cloves (Skin on is fine, but remove the root attachment.)
1/4 Cup Flavorless Cooking Oil
4 Chilies (De-seeded if desired.)
1 Tablespoon Salt
4 Chicken Thighs, Bone In With Excess Fat Trimmed
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Ground Into A Paste
1 Tablespoon Fresh Garlic, Ground Into A Paste (Fermented garlic works for this disk as well.)
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk, Full Fat or Low Fat
1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Ground Into A Paste
1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Garlic, Ground Into A Paste (Fermented garlic works for this disk as well.)
Combine the red bell pepper, green onion, ginger, garlic, chilies, oil and salt in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
You can use your paste now or store in the fridge for up to 2 months as long as you do not introduce any moisture into the mixture.
Setup your sous vide machine and start it heating to 165 F / 73 C.
Put 3/4 cup of the paste for the chicken in a large bowl and set the remaining paste aside. Add the ground garlic and ginger and mix. Place the chicken in the bowl with your paste and coat completely. Make sure to loosen up the skin of the chicken with your fingers and massage some paste between the skin/meat.
If you have a vacuum sealer go ahead and vacuum seal 2 chicken thighs in a single layer. If you don't have a vacuum sealer don't worry. You can use gallon size zipper top bags and pushing out as much air as possible. You can do this part ahead of time and keep in the fridge to marinate overnight if desired. (If you do store your chicken in the fridge sit the chicken on the counter for 30 min to 1 hour to allow it come to room temperature.)
Place the sealed plastic bag(s) inside the hot water and cover with a lid. If you do not have a lid for the vessel you've chosen a big of plastic wrap, or tinfoil, will work perfectly fine. Allow to cook for 1 1/2 hours and remove the bags from the vessel.
Over a heat proof bowl, cut the top of your plastic bag and drain any juices from the chicken into the bowl. Place the chicken on a baking dish, cover and allow to rest while you prepare the sauce. Allow the chicken stock in the bowl to rest 1-2 minutes so any rendered fat from the chicken rises to the top. Using a spoon remove 1 tablespoon of the chicken fat and set side. The rest of the chicken fat can be discarded.
Move the top rack to the top of the oven. Then turn on your broiler on high and allow to come to temperature.
Uncover your chicken and place in the center of the rack and cook 4-8 minutes, rotating the pan half way, until the chicken skin to crisp and brown. Depending on your oven, it may not take the full 8 minutes.
In a medium skillet on medium high heat, add the chicken fat, remaining ground ginger and garlic paste(s) and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Pour in the coconut milk and cook until the oil in the coconut milk begins to separate from the solids. Add the 1 cup of the chicken stock while dragging your spoon on the bottom of your skillet to remove any fond from the bottom of your pan. Reduce the sauce by half, or until it reaches the desired level of thickness you desire. If you find the sauce is a little flat it's perfectly fine to add 1/2 teaspoon of chicken stock powder.