Sous Vide for Everyone
Testing Sous Vide Machines (Immersion Circulators)
Whether or not you’re familiar with sous vide, chances are you’ve eaten food prepared this way. In the past decade, this method of cooking food in a precisely controlled water bath has rippled its way from Michelin-starred restaurants such as Alinea in Chicago and Per Se in New York to chains including Chipotle, Panera, and Starbucks, and it's now making a splash in home kitchens. Here’s how it works: A water bath is preheated to a precise temperature. The food is sealed in plastic (though not always; you can sous vide in glass jars, and eggs can be cooked right in their shells) and immersed in the bath so that it eventually reaches the same temperature as the water. And in the case of meat and fish, there is usually a quick searing step before serving.
We are used to being able to simply Google any kitchen question, but how do you know you’re getting the best (or even the right) answer? In this fun and engaging follow-up to our best-selling Kitchen Hacks, our expert editors offer hundreds of definitive, researched, kitchen-tested answers to questions large and small, common and bizzare.
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What Is Sous Vide & How To Use It
by Lauren Savoie
Sous vide cooking allows you to achieve perfect results with eggs, poultry, meat, and more. Our step-by-step guide gives you all the information you need to get started with sous vide cooking: from how to set up the machine, to selecting the appropriate temperature, to instructions for sealing food and placing it in the water bath.
A Taste of Morocco
Moroccan-Spiced Chicken and Couscous with Crispy Chicken Skins
This chicken dish features a couple of North African influences: We start with a spice blend reminiscent of ras el hanout (literally “head of the shop” in Arabic, ras el hanout is a spice blend that varies by region but traditionally includes a seller’s best spices). We incorporate some of the spice mix into a spicy-savory harissa-style paste (a popular North African hot pepper paste), which we use to build a flavorful base for gently braising chicken thighs until they are tender and moist. With a little couscous cooked in the same pot to soak up the extra cooking liquid, this dish is packed with warming flavor.
Cooking on busy weeknights is a heavy lift—it’s easy to be deterred by time-consuming prep before and a sink full of dirty dishes after. The test kitchen solved these challenges by creating a collection of inspired, family-friendly recipes for even the busiest home cooks.
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The axiom “knowledge is power” holds especially true in the kitchen—the more you know about what’s going on inside your food as it cooks, the more you can control the result. That’s why we’re so gung ho about using an instant-read thermometer in the kitchen, as more control means less stress and better results. Our winning inexpensive digital thermometer was fast, accurate, and easy to hold. It had a few cushy extra features, including a rotating display and a backlight, which came in handy for grilling. While supplies last. Offer ends at 11:59p.m. PT on December 12, 2017.