If you are cooking the chicken from frozen, add thirty minutes onto the cooking time. You can cook the broccoli for an extra thirty minutes as well without any harm.
- 4 medium chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lemon, sliced thin
- 1 1/2 pounds broccoli florets
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pinch of Kosher, sea or table salt
1 Heat the water: Fill a pot with water and place your immersion circulator inside. Set the temperature to 158°F and let the water come up to temperature.
2 Prep the chicken: Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place them in gallon-sized zip-top freezer bag with the lemon arranged over top.
Make sure the chicken is in a single layer. If you need to use two bags, that’s better than having overlapping chicken pieces.
3 Seal the bag: Seal the bag with as little air as possible by using water-displacement method to press out all the air: Just slowly lower the bag with the chicken into the water, letting the pressure of the water press the air out of the bag. Once the top of the bag reaches the water line and all the air has been pressed out, seal the bag. (Read more here.)
You can do this in the pot of water as it heats. (Just be careful if the water is already steaming!)
Set the chicken aside on a kitchen towel until the water has finished heating. At this point you can also freeze the bag if you want to store the prepared chicken for later.
4 Prepare the broccoli: Place the florets in a gallon-sized zip-top freezer bag, and season with red pepper flakes and sesame oil. To weight the broccoli down, add a few heavy soup spoons to the bag (or plan to place a heavy bowl over the top of the water bath to keep the broccoli submerged).
Use the same water displacement technique to seal the broccoli bag.
5 Cook the broccoli and chicken. Once the water has come to temperature, add the chicken and broccoli to the water and cook for 2 hours. Make sure your cooking bags are completely submerged in the water; place a heavy bowl over the pot if the spoons aren't keeping the broccoli submerged.
I also like to rotate all the bags halfway through cooking to make sure they are cooking evenly, as sometimes they can get jostled around in the water.
When cooking time ends, remove from the water and turn off the circulator.
6 Serve the chicken: Remove the chicken and broccoli and portion in lunch-sized portions or serve for dinner.