Sous Vide Peruvian Turkey


  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt, plus extra as needed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pisco
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed, divided use
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, divided use
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh sage
  • 2 aji amarillo chilies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 turkey breasts, skin on
  • Oil, as needed


Bring water, salt and sugar to a boil. Add pisco, 4 garlic cloves, 4 sprigs of thyme, rosemary, sage, chilies, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Simmer for 1 minute; cool.

Brine breast for 24 hours; discard brine, rinse breasts and pat dry. Season breasts with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place in the sous vide bag with 2 tablespoons butter and a sprig of thyme. Seal.

Sous vide breasts for 2-1⁄2 hours at 145° F. At service, sear breasts skin-side down in an oiled cast-iron skillet until lightly golden brown. Add remaining garlic, butter and thyme and shake pan to distribute ingredients, spooning butter over the breast. Cook until crispy, turn over, remove from heat, rest and serve. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Chef Cliff Denny, Andina, Portland, OR, from Food Fanatics Magazine