Making A Chick-fil-A Clone With The New Anova Sous-Vide Circulator

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It’s rare for a founder to offer to make Chik-fil-A sandwich clones for you, let alone in your own kitchen. But that’s just what Jeff Wu, creator of the Anova sous-vide cooker is doing.

Now running on Kickstarter, the new model adds some amazing features to the already cool Anova cooker including iPhone based programming and a food library that allows you to set and forget your recipes.

Wu has been cooking sous-vide since he was 13 when his chemist father brought home an industrial grade circulator. He’s been practicing the art ever since and has been working on the Anova project for most of this decade.

Sous-vide, in short, makes it easy to replicate recipes. Restaurants use it not because it’s a high-tech way to cook meat but because unskilled cooks can drop bagged meat into a bath and pull it out at exactly the right temperature a few minutes later. It allows for the mass production of steaks that are crunchy on the surface and pink inside and it allows for easy cooked chicken without the vagaries of stove top futzing. It’s like a water-filled microwave.

The new Anova just passed $1 million on Kickstarter, which made Jeff happy, and he was in town to show off the hardware to food sites and magazines. However, he knows I (used to) like a really nice piece of chicken expertly cooked, so he made me lunch. I’ve recently taken to vegetarianism but seeing how good his sandwiches looked I decided to partake. They were delicious – juicy, not overcooked, and surprisingly flavorful thanks to a pickle juice brine. Food tech is some of my favorite tech and this was some of the best.

Want to know Jeff’s magic recipe?

Breading:

1 cup flour, 2 table spoons celery salt, 1 table spoon cayenne pepper, 1 table spoon paprika pepper, 1 table spoon powdered sugar, dash of black pepper

Wet coat:

1 egg whipped mixed with half a cup whipping cream, ( or ice cream(vanilla) or buttermilk)

Instructions:

Pound chicken breasts in a bag with meat hammer (I use 30lb dumbbells at home) into flat pieces and cut out circular patties with knife – the leftover small pieces can be use for nuggets or chicken strips.

Brine chicken in pickle juice for about 20 mins – pickle juice acts as a quick tenderizing agent. Pickles are later used as toppings for sandwiches

Bag meat evenly in ziplock bags ( so it retains nice patty shape) then cook in bath for 25 mins @ 57C

Dip the sousvided chicken in egg mixture then coat in dry breading on both sides – lightly fry for about 30 seconds on each side until golden brown.

Results are juicy tender interior with crisp and savory exterior.

The pieces that are not used for large sandwiches can be used for chicken nugget sliders for kids or nugget appetizers.

Toast some buns, top with pickles and you are ready!!!