This dish was my first crack at using my new gadget – a Sous Vide machine. Actually, it’s more of a wand that you stick into a pot that circulates the water and keeps it a steady temp. If you’re curious, this is the one I have and so far I’m liking it.
This dish is flavorful, light, healthy and the chicken ends up nice and moist (even if you have to pan-fry it a bit like I did) and even lightly flavored from the basil. A wholly successful first crack, if I do say so myself.
Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30
Sous Vide Basil Chicken Fried “Rice”
4 chicken thighs (I used bone-in and skin-on)
1 head cauliflower
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 – 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 egg per chicken thigh
Kosher salt & black pepper
Sriracha for serving if desired
First, get the chicken going because this is not a quick dish. Generously salt and pepper each chicken thigh on both sides. Gently place 2 of the thighs into the bottom of a gallon zipper freezer bag with 1 – 2 leaves basil pressed into both sides of each thigh. Repeat in another bag with the other two thighs.
Squeeze out most of the air in the bag, leaving the chicken on the bottom. Set your sous vide up according to manufacturer directions, and submerge the chicken slowly to squeeze the air out of the top of the bag as you go, only sealing once the bag is almost submerged and the air is almost removed. See instructions here, plus a handy video if my directions aren’t clear.
Once your chicken is prepared, set your machine to 165F/74C and let cook an hour and a half (or more. This recipe has great direction on cooking bone-in chicken thighs and what temperature/time configurations give what results). I let my chicken go for exactly an hour and a half at the 165F, and it could have stood another bit of time – I was able to easily finish off in a hot pan, however, so timing is really up to you.
While your chicken is taking its leisurely bath, make the cauli fried rice.
Core and quarter your head of cauliflower, and either grate or break up in a food processor until you have rice-sized granules. If you’re going the food processor method, you may need to do this in 2 – 3 batches.
When all your cauliflower is processed down, heat a large wok or skillet on high and add 1 Tbsp. sesame oil. When the oil is hot, add the rice. Add the onion and garlic powders, a generous pinch salt and a few cracks black pepper. Add the coconut aminos and stir well to combine. Let cook until starting to brown and get crispy on the bottom, around 5 minutes. Stir and repeat the process 2 – 3 times until your “rice” is done with a fair amount of browned bits.
Let sit until your chicken is done.
When your chicken is done, knock the basil off and pat dry. Place skin side down in a medium pan over medium-high heat with the second Tablespoon of sesame oil. Pan sear the skin until crispy. If you’re worried that the meat is underdone, flip and sear the other side too.
When you’re ready to serve, fry an egg per thigh until over medium. Serve the chicken and rice topped with an egg and garnished with extra torn basil. Add sriracha if needed.
Serves 3 – 4. (I got 3 comfortable rice servings out of my medium head of cauliflower; if you need to stretch, do 2 eggs per person)