Sous Vide Hainan Chicken Remix with Top Chef Winner, Mei Lin!

By Top Chef Winner Mei Lin
Cooking time: 3 Hours Sous Vide
Serves 2

Ingredients for Chicken

  • 1 Whole Chicken 
  • ¼ Cup Scallions – Minced
  • ¼ Cup Ginger – Minced
  • ½ Cup Canola Oil
  • Kosher Salt

Ingredients for Chicken Jus

  • Chicken Carcass from Whole Chicken – Roasted at 350ºF for 30 minutes
  • 2 Tablespoons Sichuan Peppercorn
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon
  • 1 Large Onion – Quartered
  • 3 Medium Carrots – Roughly Chopped
  • 2 Stalks Celery – Roughly Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – Smashed
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato paste
  • ¼ Cup Shaoxing Wine (or Dry White Wine)
  • 3 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger (One Thumb)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • ¼ Cup Canola Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Ingredients for Rice Cracker

  • 1 Cup White rice
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • Canola oil

Ingredients for Plating

  • Cilantro Blossoms
  • 1/3 Cucumber – Sliced Thin on Mandolin
  • Fried Chicken Skin
  • Fried Rice Cracker
  • Maldon Salt


  1. Set your Nomiku water bath to 60ºC (140ºF). Start by breaking down the whole chicken, removing the breasts, and skin.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat up Canola oil on medium-high and quickly sauté the scallions and ginger until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool. In the video Mei pours the hot oil directly into a heat safe ramekin containing the chopped ginger and scallions, this also works very well.
  3. In a vacuum-seal or zip bag, add both chicken breast and cooled scallion relish. Vacuum-seal on full vacuum or use water displacement method to seal and sous vide for 3 hours.  
  4. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF and put chicken skin on a baking sheet to crisp up (about 15 minutes) and the rest of the chicken carcass on another baking sheet to roast (about 30 minutes). Lightly salt and save the chicken skin for plating.
  5. To make the rice chip, in a medium pot set to medium-high, place rice in with water and cook until tender and falling apart. The water should be all gone. Spread the rice mixture thin on a Silpat and place in oven at 122ºF. The rice should be translucent and crisp like a chip.
  6. To fry the rice chip, heat up canola oil to 375ºF and break off chunks of rice sheets to put in. They will triple in its original size. Remove once they puff up.
  7. To make the jus, in a large stock pot, heat up ¼ cup canola oil on medium high and add garlic, onions, carrots, celery, Sichuan peppercorns, and a cinnamon stick. Sauté for 3 minutes and then add the roasted chicken carcass. Add tomato paste and give it a good mix. Add Shaoxing wine to deglaze and scrape the brown bits off the pan with a wooden spoon. Add chicken stock and continue to simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid until about 1 cup remains. Remove from heat and strain through a china cap, pushing some of the vegetable pulp through the strainer with the back of a ladle. You will end up with a thick jus. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Remove chicken breast from the Nomiku water bath. Pat dry and plate with fried chicken skin, fried rice cracker, thinly sliced cucumber, a drizzle of jus, cilantro blossoms, and a sprinkle of finishing salt.
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