Healthy Meal Prep for Fit Bodies: Sous Vide Chicken
Never have dry, flavorless meat again.
Nutrition is half the battle for high-performers, and meal prep is a key strategy for achieving success. Takeout is often loaded with extra oils and high in sodium. And studies show that people who spend more time on home food preparation have a higher-quality diet. That’s why we’re introducing our new healthy meal prep series. The plans to follow support Equinox’s nutritional pillars that functional food should be full of nutrients and free of added sugars to make you feel and perform at your best.
When you’re starving after a workout, it’s nice to have a go-to meal ready, which is why having an appliance that does the work for you is key, says Seattle-based chef Dana Tough of ChefSteps. In addition to kitchen essentials such as slow cookers and blenders, every athlete should invest in a sous vide machine.
Sous vide has been gaining popularity with home chefs, yet it’s a technique that industry pros have relied on for decades. With traditional cooking methods, heat flows from a burner to a pan then into the food, or in the case of an oven, the air around the food is heated. Because the air in the oven and the metal in the pan are much hotter than you want your food to be, you have to remove it from the heat at just the right time—take it off too early or too late and your food is either over- or undercooked. “That’s where sous vide comes in to save the day,” says Tough. A sous vide machine, such as the sleek Joule, takes out any guesswork. It heats a pot of water to the exact temperature needed, and you can take whatever you’re cooking—from meat to lentils—out as soon it’s done or you can let it rest in the water until you’re ready to eat. Plus, a one pot setup means less cleanup, making it an excellent choice for meal prep.
This guide was created by ChefSteps.
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FIT CHEF HOW-TO: SOUS VIDE CHICKEN
“The secret to juicy, tender sous vide chicken is cooking one inch-thick breasts at 149 degrees Fahrenheit for 55 minutes,” says Tough. “If you like your chicken a bit more well done, you can up the temp slightly to 158 degrees.” And it’s important to remember there’s a difference between white and dark meat. “When it comes to the latter, such as chicken thighs or drumsticks, you’ll need to cook them longer (three hours at 149 degrees) in order to get a great braise-like texture.”
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