I recently purchased an immersion circulator, the Sous Vide Supreme, through Amazon, and I have to say that after trying multiple recipes on different proteins and vegetables using the sous vide technique, I am absolutely thrilled with my purchase.
For Thanksgiving this year, I decided to cook my turkey sous vide. The results were phenomenal - super moist breast meat (which almost always tends to be dry and over-cooked) and deliciously crisp skin. And the process really wasn't that difficult.
I researched a number of different recipes and after watching a few instructional videos on Youtube (one featured Grant Achatz, the other Michael Voltaggio), I put together my own, customized game plan. Here's what I did:
Turn on the Sous Vide Supreme
Set the Sous Vide Supreme to 150°F and allow to pre-heat for 10-15 minutes.
If you're going to sous vide your turkey, you need to break the bird down into individual parts. Using a sharp knife (and some determination), remove and seperate the turkey breasts, drumsticks and thighs (alternatively, purchase the turkey parts already separated for you by your butcher). Remove the bone from the thighs, making sure to keep the skin intact.
Season and Package
Season all of the turkey parts with salt and pepper. Place each half breast, thigh, and drumstick into separate vacuum-sealable bags or heavy duty zip loc bags. Add some butter to each bag along with rosemary and a few gloves of smashed garlic. Using a vacuum sealer, vacuum and seal the bag tight. Alternatively, if using a ziploc bag, remove as much air as possible using the water displacement method and seal shut.
Place each sealed bag in the Sous Vide Supreme. The breasts and drumsticks need 2 hours while the thighs will take roughly 2.5 hours.
Just before serving, preheat oil in a large saute pan. Remove all of the turkey pieces from the bags and pat dry.
Working in batches, fry the breasts and drumsticks until golden and crispy. Once finished with the breasts and drumsticks, place the thighs, skin side down, in the pan and cook until golden and crispy. Make sure to use a medium heat here so you can render the fat from the skin slowly and avoid simply burning it.
After all the turkey parts have been browned, remove to a serving platter and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
And below is a picture of the final result!
If you want to make a gravy to serve with the turkey, use the leftover
turkey carcass and bones. Roast the bones in an oven with diced onions, carrots
and celery. Deglaze with some marsala or red wine. Add the any cooking liquid that pooled at the bottom of your sous vide pouch or zip loc bag. Add some turkey or
chicken stock (if needed). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Thicken with roux or a cornstarch slurry (if desired).