Cooking in Saran wrap?

alisonJuly 14, 2008

Sometime back, I came across an article in Cooking Light about rolling chicken breasts and the like around stuffing, wrapping the rolls in plastic film, and cooking them by tossing the packets in boiling water.

Has anyone tried this? I pounded out some chicken breasts, but they weren't big enough to enclose the stuffing and bake in the convetional way, so I wrapped them in Saran wrap, but now I'm a little nervous. (And of course, I can't find the article now!)

I'd love to hear from anyone who's done this. Why doesn't the plastic wrap melt when it rests on the hot pot bottom? Is Saran wrap okay, or do you need some special, thicker plastic? Do you keep the water boiling the whole time? How long to you have to let something as thick as a chicken roll boil to make sure it's cooked all the way thru?

Hope someone out there knows what I'm talking about!

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I'd try wrapping them in parchment and baking them. You can twist or fold the ends to keep them closed. Or try holding the rolls closed with toothpicks when you place them in the baking pan.

I don't know about boiling in plastic wrap, there seems to be conflicting information about this.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 9:14PM
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I think modern thinking is that saran is not safe to be in contact with food at high heat.
And I sure can't think I would like chicken breast boiled in matter how delicious the stuffing. I want just a little browning on the outside...even it its artificial from brushing with a little soy sauce or chinese bead molasses.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 10:54PM
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Find the 800 number on your box of Saran Wrap and call and ask them.

I wouldn't want to do it though. I don't like heating anything in plastic, just skeeves me out. Like those omelettes in the baggie, no thanks.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 9:31AM
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I don't even use plastic wrap to cover food in the microwave. I use a paper towel or some good old waxed paper. I like Barnmom's suggestion. I think boiled or poached chicken should only be used for casseroles or with sauces.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:30PM
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While it sure made wrapping them up easy, I wasn't really comfortable with the idea of boiling plastic. (Not that I haven't had melted plastic in my food before!) I know there's a whole style of cooking food in bags in water (su vide?) but I'm not sure this is the place for it. (I was surprised ot se it in Cooking Light, which I usually trust.)
Thanks for the advice; when it comes time to take them out of the freezer and cook them up, I think I'll replace the Saran wrap with parchment paper.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:50PM
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I saw this done on Emeril Live about a week ago. He had chef Jacques Pepin as a guest and he made a Truffle and Pistachio Sausage with this technique. Here are the instructions for the sausage. When he took the plastic off, the sausage was beautiful.

Put the ground pork into a large bowl. Add the wine, garlic, pepper, curing salt, pistachios, and truffles, if using. Mix well with your hands. Divide the mixture in half. Form and press each half into a sausage about 8-inches long and 2-inches in diameter. Take care to press the mixture firmly enough to eliminate air bubbles, which would result in unsightly holes in the sausages. Wrap individually in plastic wrap, twisting the ends to enclose the sausages, and then roll each of them in aluminum foil, twisting the ends of the foil. Refrigerate for at least 3 days to cure. (Freeze 1 of the sausages, if desired, and thaw it slowly in the refrigerator before cooking.)
The very important part of poaching these sausages is to do it at a low temperature for a long time. This makes a big difference in the taste and juiciness of the meat. Bring a pot of water to between 150 and 160 degrees F. Lower the wrapped sausages into the pot, and place a heavy lid that is a little smaller than the top of the pot on top of the sausages to weigh them down in the pot and keep them immersed in the water. Cook in the same temperature range, checking the pot occasionally, for about 1 hour, or until the internal temperature of the sausages is close to the same temperature as the water, about 150 degrees F. To keep warm, let the sausages sit in the 150 to 160 degrees F water until serving time.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 1:03PM
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I know the Foodsaver bags are safe for boiling (um at least they say so....). You could try opening a bag and rolling stuff in there without buying the whole unit (unless you already have one!)

I'd be willing to send you some if you want, holler here.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 1:41PM
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