Riesling Chicken Sous-Vide with Parmesan Orzo

  • Yield: servings


4-- (6 ounce each) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1teaspoon salt + salt to taste
1/2teaspoon pepper + pepper to taste
1teaspoon porcini mushroom powder (see Cook's Note)
8teaspoons + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided use
8teaspoons finely minced shallots
1cup dry Riesling wine
1-- heaping cup sliced white mushrooms (about 4 oz.)
1/3cup + 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided use
1tablespoon all purpose flour
2 1/2cups hot, cooked orzo
1/4cup grated Parmesan cheese
-- Garnish: lemon wheels
-- chopped parsley
Special equipment:
-- Vacuum sealer
4-- 1 quart vacuum sealer bags


Bring 6 quarts of water to a slow simmer (160 degrees F.) in a large (8-quart) stockpot. Place one chicken breast in each of four (1-quart) vacuum sealer bags. To each bag, add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon mushroom powder, 2 teaspoons butter, 2 teaspoon shallots, 1/4 cup Riesling and 1/4 of mushrooms (about 1/4 cup). Vacuum seal each bag. Place bags in simmering water and poach for 25 minutes, adjusting heat, as required, to maintain a 160 degree F. temperature. Cut bags open and transfer juices to a large (12-inch) skillet. Stir in 1/3 cup cream and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, blend reserved 1 tablespoon butter with flour; whisk into contents of skillet and simmer for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove chicken and mushrooms from bags and place in skillet; spoon sauce over chicken. Remove skillet from heat; tent contents with foil to keep warm.

Place cooked orzo into a medium (2-quart) saucepan. Stir in reserved 1/2 cup heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Cook over medium-high heat for about 1 minute, or until mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn orzo onto a serving platter; top with chicken and mushrooms. Spoon some sauce over each chicken breast. Garnish with lemon wheels and parsley. Yield: 4 servings.

Cook's Note: If porcini powder is not available it can be made at home. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread contents of a 1-1/2-oz. package of dried porcini mushrooms on a small baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes; let cool. Grind in a spice mill until a fine powder forms. Store, airtight, for up to 6 months. Yield: 3 tablespoons powder.