The big question was how to remove those damn tendons. Do I do it before or after I cook them? Well after some exploratory knife cutting I decided to do it after they were cooked. Those tendons are locked in there mighty tight. I tried to remove them with pliers but I would have torn up the meat really bad.
The next question of course was "at what temperature do I cook the Legs at". I searched and searched the net and found many many different suggested temps out there. Some suggested cooking at 150 degrees for 8 hours and some as high as 176 degrees for the same time. I talked with a chef and he personally likes 149 but this seemed low to me. Anyhow I used 160 degrees for 6 hours. Although they came out great I think I should have used 149 for 8 hours like the chef suggested. Of course I was going to smoke them regardless of temp I was going to use.
Here is a picture of the legs after they came out of the Sous-Vide. The legs look very unappealing if you ask me.
A picture of the leg being filleted open to reveal tendons.
Very difficult to remove tendons. It was not pretty and I tore up the meat just a bit.
The goal of the smoke was to impart flavor so I kept the temp down by adding ice cold water to the pan below. I was able to keep the temp within 10 degrees of 180 degrees. They smoked for 3 hours.
Over all they turned out really well. The family loved them but I think they could have been better.
What did I learn from this experiment? Next time I will Sous-Vide at 149 like the Chef said for 8 hours. I am hoping that the additional 2 hours will allow easier removal of tendons. And I will Brine the legs this time. Since this dish was a spontaneous one I had no time.
I will do this again in the next two weeks hopefully!!!!!