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The sky is giving us a tremendous light show tonight and the thunder has scared the cats into the guest room under the bed. Not to worry, the dog and I are fat and happy thinking about the wonderful sous vide chicken chicken breast with mushroom sauce we shared for dinner. I shared mine with Charlie. John doesn’t share with the dog.
Before I get to the good food, I want to share my vertigo situation with you in case you or someone you know suffers from benign positional vertigo. It’s something I’ve endured for the past ten years or so and some days were better than others but most days always felt like I’d just gotten over a really bad hangover.
A few months ago my GP suggested that I get tested again because new maneuvers have been discovered that can help. I wasn’t too hopeful because I’d been told just to learn to live with it. That’s tough when the room twirls around and you climb a flat floor. I went for the tests and I was so sick they couldn’t finish. I was in bed for 3 days with the world swirling around me.
Then I was sent to Annie Cramsie, a vestibular physiotherapist who only deals with people like me. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is caused by teensy crystals leaving the inner ear and traveling through the semi-circular canals in the ears. They disturb the fluid in the canals and your brain thinks you’re spinning around.
Yes, she gave me the same test and yes I got so sick and yes I had to leave. Bless her heart, she got excited and said, “Look, I know you don’t feel well but we have a diagnosis and it’s curable but not today. I can’t do the fix while you’re throwing up.” Fair enough. I tested a 5 out of 5 in one ear and a 4.5 out of 5 in the other. It can’t get much worse so it was obvious it would take some time to get the crystals back where they belong.
I returned two weeks later and had the first Epley maneuver. I was greenish but I kept my lunch. No bending over, no lifting, just rest for 24 hours. I felt better. Not 100%, but definitely better. I’ve since had 3 maneuvers on my right ear, 1 on the left and this week we tested the lateral canals. Yep, full of crystals but not so bad we couldn’t do a fix on those. Guess what? I’m 90% better. Seriously. 90%. That’s like a nearly normal human being. I can turn my head without moving my whole body, I can look up in the shower and hopefully only a few more visits to be 100%.
If you know anyone suffering with positional vertigo, have them see a vestibular specialist. I would have done it years ago if I’d known. Now, on to this chicken that John, Charlie and I loved.
I bought some lovely free range chicken breasts from my butcher and I didn’t want to eat dry, tough chicken and sometimes there’s a tiny window between underdone, well cooked and overdone. This afternoon I lightly salted the chicken breasts and vacuum sealed them and popped them in the sous vide machine for 90 minutes at 60 degrees Celsius (that’s 140 degrees Fahrenheit). When they were done I put them in the refrigerator.
After putting the vegetables on to cook I made a lovely sauce to go over the chicken. A little bit of French shallots, a little bit of garlic, a little bit of butter, some sliced mushrooms, a little bit of port and a little bit of cream. I cooked it down and tasted it and decided I could eat just the sauce.
Eating only sauce is not a good thing for the waistline so I put the grill pan on high heat and while it was getting smoking hot I took out the chicken, dried it off with paper towels and rubbed it well with oil. It was already perfectly cooked so all I wanted was some grill marks and a bit of smoky flavor. Bingo. The chicken was moist, full of chickeny flavor and that sauce was to die for. Charlie and I ate the right half of this chicken breast and I had the other half in a sandwich for lunch today. Still good!
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 3 French shallots finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (any sort you like, I had button)
- 2 tablespoons port wine
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup cream
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Pre-heat sous vide to 60C/ 140F
- Lightly salt chicken breasts and vacuum seal
- When water temperature is right, add the chicken breasts to the water, cover and leave for at least 90 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- After 90 minutes remove from sous vide and place in an ice bath for a few minutes, dry off and either store in the refrigerator for later or remove from pouch, dry off and prepare for serving.
- In a skillet on medium heat, add the oil and the shallots and stir and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the the butter and garlic and stir for a minute.
- Raise the temperature to medium-high and add the mushrooms and cook til they release their liquid and it evaporates.
- Add the port wine and cook until it's nearly evaporated and then add the stock. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the cream.
- Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens and add the pepper. Taste for seasoning and add salt if it needs it. My stock was salty and I didn't need any.
- Heat a grill pan to smoking hot
- Oil the chicken breasts and place in the grill pan and leave only until the chicken is heated through and you have some nice marking from the pan. Remember the chicken is fully cooked so leaving it on more than a minute or so per side could overcook the chicken.
- Serve with sauce