Total time: About 1 hour
Servings: 1 chicken breast
Note: Chicken breast, so often overcooked and dry, is a wonderful ingredient for this sort of precision cooking. Here the breast is presented plain, but in the restaurant we frequently remove the tenderloin and roll a mousse or other stuffing into the center of the breast.
1 (12-ounce) boneless chicken breast, skin on, at room temperature
Prepared water bath
Canola oil, for searing
1. Ask your butcher to leave as much skin on the breast as possible. Trim any extra fat from the breast, keeping the tenderloin attached. Season by raining a small pinch of salt over both sides of the breast and under the tenderloin.
2. Set up for rolling in plastic as explained above. Place the breast skin-side down — the skin should be on the outside of the rolled cylinder — and carefully roll into a tight cylinder about 2 inches in diameter. Cook for 45 minutes in a water bath at 165 degrees.
3. Remove the chicken from the water. Insert your probe thermometer into the center of the rolled chicken to verify that it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Despite the hole that the thermometer makes in the plastic, if the chicken is not fully cooked, you will be fine returning it to the water to cook to the proper temperature.
4. When done, remove the chicken from the water bath and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Carefully cut one end of the rolled plastic and slide the chicken breast out. Use paper towels to remove any excess moisture from the skin. In a pan with just a film of canola oil quickly sear the breast to crisp the skin. Slice and serve.
Each chicken breast: 482 calories; 72 grams protein; 0 carbohydrate; 0 fiber; 20 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 196 mg cholesterol; 0 sugar; 453 mg sodium.