In her Jan 25 column, Colly Gruczelac didn't pull many punches about how she felt about Sous Vide cooking. The change in language between describing her 'tender juicy ' poached chicken and then shifting to a brothless, oily chicken that you get, from the straw man sous vide recipe she brought out in comparison, makes me wonder whether she'd actually done or earnestly researched sous vide before writing the article.
She mischaracterized the requirements. Special bags and vacuum sealers are nice but not required. You can do sous-vide fine with a Ziplock bag rather than a vacuum sealer. You need whatever amount of water covers your foods and the circulator. Could be 2 quarts, could be 27. That's more about the pot you use. Cooking times could be many hours, but needn't be. Even the recipe from America's Test Kitchen a base recipe (using Ziplock bags) that continues to say 'it's a starting point' and offers Lemon Thyme and Ginger Soy variants. The article also tells the cook to transfer the meat to a paper towel lined plate after cooking, so even the 'full of oil' label seems misplaced. Some basic homework research would have yielded the the much more informative "What is Sous Vide and How to Use It" guide (also from America's Test Kitchen) that has a lot of positive things to say.
Sous vide is a cooking method, not a recipe. Ms Gruczelac's depiction of both the cooking process and what emerges from it are inaccurate and resort to unfortunate rhetorical stunts to depict it as inferior to her 'old fashioned' approach. I dare say that if she'd allowed the sous vide recipe to *also* have spices, vegetables, and 'water to cover', that it would, indeed, also produce the broth she felt was missing.
You can make some great food with sous vide cooking technique, and it needn't take a lot of gear or time. It's unclear why it needed to be the target of a hatchet job as filler for posting some winter comfort food recipes.
Duff Howell, Felton