Cooking Time

The recipes on this site were developed with the SousVide Supreme, a very capable cooking device which uses water convection. More recently, we’ve been cooking with immersion circulators which maintain even cooking temperatures by moving water in the bath with a pump. If you’re using an immersion circulator, slightly reduce cooking times for best results.

Cheesy Cauliflower with Chicken and Squash

Cheesy Cauliflower with Chicken and Squash

In Britain, Cheesy Cauliflower Bake is the comfort-food equivalent of our Mac and Cheese. Cauliflower is an extremely versatile vegetable that easily marries with a wide variety of vegetables, meats, poultry, and soups. It also makes a wonderful purée to accompany roast beef or a lamb shank — almost as delectable as mashed potatoes or polenta yet far less caloric.

Since fall has come by calendar but not by temperature where I live, it’s difficult to envision those wonderful cozy comfort-food meals by the fireplace. I’m still picking fresh tomatoes and basil and eating Caprese Salad by the bucket load.

But I’m ready for the coming cooler nights, so I’ve been leafing through my conventional recipes, looking for ideas for “shoulder season.” With a few tweaks here and there, this longtime favorite seemed like an ideal preparation for the water bath.

Luckily, the evening I decided to prepare it sous vide, the weather turned brisk and cool. It couldn’t have been a better meal!

Serves 4

boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 3 or 4 pieces
cup roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
cup roughly chopped fresh tarragon leaves (if you can’t find fresh tarragon, increase the quantity of fresh sage to cup)
cups cauliflower, trimmed of woody ends, sliced into ¼-inch thick pieces
cup peeled and chopped butternut squash (¼– to ½-inch pieces)
leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided use
cup heavy cream, divided use
teaspoons freshly grated black pepper
teaspoon sea salt
cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat the water bath to 175°F (79°C).
  2. Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the herbs, cauliflower, squash, leek, ¾ cup of the cheddar cheese, ½ cup of the cream, pepper, and salt. Mix thoroughly and divide the mixture equally between 2 large zip lock food bags. Seal using the water displacement method.
  3. Cook for 2 hours.
  4. Strain the accumulated bag juices into a saucepan, add the remaining ½ cup heavy cream, and reduce over high heat until thickened, about 15 minutes, watching carefully that it doesn’t boil over.
  5. Transfer the cooked chicken and vegetables to an ovenproof dish or ramekin large enough to easily hold all the ingredients. Add the thickened sauce and mix well. Heat a broiler to high. Combine the remaining ¼ cup cheddar cheese and the Parmesan and sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole. Place the dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown the top, watching closely to avoid burning. The assembled dish also can be covered and refrigerated overnight. When ready to serve, bring to room temperature, reheat in a conventional oven at 325°F for 25 minutes, then brown under the broiler.

7 comments to Cheesy Cauliflower with Chicken and Squash

  • Joe P

    Is this every prepared with any other meat besides poultry? Say port or veal.

  • Joe P

    Try number 2.. how about pork or veal?

    • I’ve seen variations that are strictly veg, others with pork, with veal, with beef “mince” (our ground beef), with pasta… well, you get the idea. If you wanted to follow Sally’s recipe, should be simple to substitute something like pork tenderloin for the chicken. What do you think?

  • Beth Malone

    I made this for dinner last night and it was fantastic. My tip would be to use a yellow cheddar, as my extra sharp cheddar was white so the color was not that exciting. Will make again soon. :Was also good leftover and reheated in microwave.

  • Craig G

    A thumbs up for this dish form the UK, although definitely a different take than the standard cauliflower cheese.
    I made it with thyme as i had problems getting sage but have managed to source so now so will try it again, although this time i think i will also add some breadcrumbs on top for a bit of crunch.

    • Yeah, we wondered about “violating” the classic, but figured it’s probably one of those dishes that has a million variations, not just regionally, but family to family! Like your plan for the breadcrumbs, Craig; always good to add more texture.