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Tyler Florence's new restaurant Wayfare Tavern and Sous Vide question

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have been building excitement to head to Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern for weeks and finally got to go on Sunday evening. I put a few pictures below - apologies for quality, they're from my iPhone. I unfortunately had a very mixed experience and also left with one huge question (about sous vide cooking chicken).

 

Pros: the fois gras was phenomenal and so was the fresh California Avocado and hearts of palm salad - cocktails were great too. I had steak and eggs which were all around solid, but my fiance had a ravioli dish with an asparagus puree.

 

Cons: The ravioli was essentially uncooked and tasted like they had accidentally spilled salt on it - in the 4+ years I've been with my fiance, we've never sent a dish back anywhere, but this time we had to. The chefs had a taste and came over to confirm that it was a completely unrepresentative dish and was way off - they offered a free replacement.

 

This time, we opted for their famous fried chicken. It came out incredibly quickly and the first bites of a breast piece were great. Unfortunately, when we cut in to the legs/thigh meet, the chicken looked about half cooked. It was very pink, red by the bone, and the juices were not clear. This scared us enough to not eat those pieces, and when the waitress saw them taking the dish away, she looked shocked and immediately brought that dish back to the chefs to see what was going on (without us saying anything.)

 

She came back out and told us that she saw we hadn't eaten much of the chicken and agreed that it didn't look good to her at all, but when she asked the chefs, they told her that because the chicken is sous vide before being fried, it can come out looking like that.

 

1) Is that true? Can you eat chicken that has been prepared that way that isn't as fully cooked as one might expect?

2) If this is commonplace, wouldn't you think the waitress would know that?

 

Thanks for any tips - we're really not picky restaurant goers, but all in all we were pretty disappointed. Thanks all!!! Pics below:

 

photo(3).JPG

 

WayfareTavern.JPG

post #2 of 13

Sous Vide is not the only way that chicken will come out looking red at the bone. When chicken is frozen then thawed the blood residue sometimes adheres to the bone making it look like thoroughly cooked  but raw. It happens.

 

I don't know that this happened in your case.

 

I was not aware that Sous Vide is legal in the USA yet.

post #3 of 13

I wouldn't think red bone, red juices running out of a leg or thigh would be  a good idea under any conditions. You could under cook just about anything, but chicken isn't one of them. I think we could all deal with a touch of pink in the center of a boneless skinless chicken breast, but the juices should always be clear. We used to have a Chef from England on this site that used Sous Vide, the pictures he showed of a Beef tenderloin looked great. I think the chicken you got would be unacceptable under any conditions, they can say all they want about the process of cook, and that's just the way it is. If the customer isn't liking it, find a different way, because in this country all the plates will be coming back to the kitchen................................ChefBillyB

post #4 of 13

There is another factor to consider. Chickens today are being slaughtered so young that they really do not have time to mature. We have noticed that no matter how cooked many will still show red around the joints, and you can't cook it away. We called and checked and were told it as to do with the maturing of bone structure in the bird which takes more time to go away  then the bird is given before slaughter. The other factor is fried food items do not really lend themselves to sous vide cooking. Pate' ,on the other hand was one of the first products that was tried using the sous vide process and really one of the reasons it was invented.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 13

Ed is right. Chicken is offered to the market at a point where the bones are far from mature causing redness near the bone and joints regardless of reasonable cooking doneness.

 

Juices clear is also a myth. The chicken is safe to eat at 160. The dark meat will still be pink and with pink juices at that temp but it's safe. We've been trained to reject pink fowl out of fear. If you have a well calibrated thermometer, do not judge by pinkness.

 

In a restaurant serving food to people who don't know better, you have some image management to consider.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post

Ed is right. Chicken is offered to the market at a point where the bones are far from mature causing redness near the bone and joints regardless of reasonable cooking doneness.

 

Juices clear is also a myth. The chicken is safe to eat at 160. The dark meat will still be pink and with pink juices at that temp but it's safe. We've been trained to reject pink fowl out of fear. If you have a well calibrated thermometer, do not judge by pinkness.

 

In a restaurant serving food to people who don't know better, you have some image management to consider.


Thanks everyone for the great points and phatch for the definitive response. We weren't sure what to think...

 

Also, just to clarify, I think they said the chicken was sous vide, then cooked in a pan with some butter, then deep fried. What appeared fully cooked was absolutely delicious, but we were definitely scared off by the appearance of the darker meat and only got more nervous when the waitress seemed shocked by it...if it's OK to eat that way, it would probably be a good idea for the wait staff to mention that to customers who order it.

 

Thanks again!

post #7 of 13

Did a batch of Chicken Cacciatora (all thighs) conventionally and after about a two hour braise, the meat at the bone was "red" as was the bone. Temperature was in excess of 175°F.

 

It makes me think Chef Ed is correct.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #8 of 13

Pete.

 Where I work pt.time I break down about 700 organic chix a week. At first we had doubts re the redness. Having spoken to the farmer direct (Murrays Organics in Fallsburg New York) this was the reason given to us. I varified this answer with some wholesale distributers and seems to be correct and they concur. I cooked one to 173 degrees waited 10 minutes and yes still red. Now the consumer has to be educated. Even though chix consumption is slightly down , they are still slaughtering young. It's economics!

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #9 of 13

It makes me think it doesn't matter if Chef Ed is right or not. The thing is, all of us grew up thinking, red bone + red juices = Raw chicken. I wouldn't want to have a Fried Chicken restaurant and explain that all day long. Red Juices + Red Bone do not = appetizing........ChefBillyB

post #10 of 13

Seems strange to me that they would cook the chicken 3 times, sous vide, in butter, then deep fried. Defeats purpose of sous vide.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post

It makes me think it doesn't matter if Chef Ed is right or not. The thing is, all of us grew up thinking, red bone + red juices = Raw chicken. I wouldn't want to have a Fried Chicken restaurant and explain that all day long. Red Juices + Red Bone do not = appetizing........ChefBillyB


Yea, ChefBillyB, I'm in agreement...even if it's safe, it's super unappetizing because of what we've been told!  Especially because sometimes underdone chicken has a different texture than what I (as a naive consumer) think is "done" chicken....  Either there needs to be massive consumer education (or even telling the restaurant customer what to expect when he/she orders), or just prepare it so it's not raw in appearance...

 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
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 ~expert eater. novice cook.~
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post #12 of 13

I don't care if you cook them till they are 180 inside the bone will still be reddish(not the meat now I am talking bone and in particular at the leg bone joints,

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Buchanan View Post

Seems strange to me that they would cook the chicken 3 times, sous vide, in butter, then deep fried. Defeats purpose of sous vide.



Sorry, I'm a little late to the party I know.  But Keller does a similar dish at Ad Hoc.  The chicken is brined/marinated overnight, then cooked sous vide to about 141 degrees (don't quote me).  I don't get the "butter fry" part either, but Keller then deep fries the chicken after a double dip in buttermilk batter.  The idea is that you can essentially "pasteurize" the chicken and be sure it's fully cooked and safe to eat via the sous vide step, then deep fry it til the color and texture is perfect without fear of it being under done.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
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