Overcooked, bland, and dried out chicken is a common cooking stereotype for a reason. With practice it is possible to cook chicken perfectly using traditional methods but it is always a fine line between perfect and overcooked. Following sous vide chicken recipes always results in uniformly tender meat that is very moist.
Unlike some other ingredients where sous vide can radically change the ingredient, cooking sous vide chicken is mainly an act of convenience and consistency. The exception to this are chicken eggs, which can achieve textures not possible to get with traditional methods.
I often use sous vide chicken as a basis for other dishes such as chicken marsala, chicken parmigiana, fried chicken, and other chicken dishes with a coating. Fully cooking the chicken sous vide first, then applying and cooking the coating removes the guess work of trying to ensure the chicken is cooked through at the exact moment the coating turns nice and crispy.
Sous Vide Chicken Recipes Temperature
The FDA states that chicken is safe when it is held at 136ºF for over 63 minutes, or 140ºF for over 30 minutes. This is very easy to do with sous vide chicken recipes and almost impossible to do with traditional methods.
However, even though it is possible to sous vide chicken at temperature below 140ºF we have found that the texture is very different and tastes "raw". To avoid this we recommend chicken breasts cooked at 141ºF for 1 to 4 hours and legs or thighs cooked at 147ºF for 4 to 8 hours.
People often don't think about adding sous vide chicken to dishes that would normally cook it. A great example is this flavorful chicken soup. Normally you cook the chicken in the soup, but it usually dries it out and overcooks it. Making the soup separately with some flavorful chicken stock and lots of vegetables while you cook the chicken sous vide results in more tender chunks of chicken.
Sous vide chicken is an easy weeknight meal, regardless of how you serve it. When I'm in a rush I'll often just saute some vegetables to serve with it, in this case some broccolini and red bell peppers. I give it all a squirt of lemon juice, top it with some fresh herbs and edible flowers from the garden and it's ready to go!
This is a super simple recipe to toss together when you need a filling but quick meal. The lemon helps to brighten up the dish while the radishes and cucumber introduce a pleasant crunch. The lemon and olive oil add brightness to the dish without overwhelming it. This recipe works equally well with turkey breast.
Chicken salad is a classic summer dish, but sometimes it can be a little dry and bland, and no amount of mayonnaise can save it. Using sous vide to cook the chicken is a great first step, resulting in always moist and tender meat. To bump up the flavor, I turn to fruit chutney and curry powder. Then I round it out and add a ton of texture with diced celery, carrots, grapes, apples and pecans. It's a dynamic, flavorful dish that everyone loves.
When it is done right, Puebla-style mole is one of my favorite sauces. This recipe is for a more traditional preparation than the milder and cloyingly sweet versions found at chain restaurants. It takes advantage of the different chile flavors and is very bold and full flavored. When you sous vide the chicken, the dish elevates to a whole new level. The sauce does take a decent amount of effort, but I'll often double or triple the recipe and store the remainder in plastic bags in the freezer so I can easily use it later. The sauce works exquisitely with shredded pork or chicken breasts and thighs.
Sous vide chicken breast is always flavorful and moist, but you don't always just want to eat it by itself. This recipe combines it with a simple vegetable stir fry that bulks it out and bumps the flavor, all the while still being super simple to put together. It's a great go-to weeknight meal when you want something easy to make that is still tasty.
I think chicken salad is a great summer and spring meal but more and more I crave something refreshing during the winter months too. It comes together really quickly, especially when using sous vide chicken breasts. I love using varied garnishes to add texture and bursts of flavor. In this recipe I call for the typical celery and carrots, but I also add toasted cashews and green grapes to add even more flavor. Some basil rounds it all out. When served on a bed of greens it's an amazingly flavorful meal.
I recently took a Thai cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan and ever since I've been trying to work traditional Thai flavors into my cooking. Classic Thai food has an amazing mix of hot, salty, and sour and I tried to work that into this flavorful soup. The soup pops in your mouth, with bright highs of all the flavor combinations.
These chicken thighs have an encompassing combination of sweet, spicy, and minty flavors. The sauce is very easy to make and is poured directly over the chicken thighs before serving. To help it thicken more quickly you can also add a mixture of 1/2 cold water and 1/2 corn starch to it when it is on the stove.
Chicken tenders are a versatile finger food that both kids and adults love. Since the chicken is cooked sous vide it remains nice and moist and you only have to focus on browning the coating when you finish cooking it. Serve it with a variety of dipping sauces so everyone can enjoy the combinations they prefer.
Grilled sous vide chicken salad with a honey mustard dressing provides a light tasty meal any day of the week. This recipe completes the salad with radishes, sweet bell peppers, fresh blueberries and crunchy sunflower seeds. I also like this salad with fresh snap peas or green beans. For a more savory salad you can blend in a few roasted garlic cloves into the dressing.
This recipe adds flavor to chicken legs post-sous vide with a sweet and spicy honey-sriracha glaze. You can adjust the recipe to your preferred hotness! Due to the odd shape of chicken legs and thighs, I find searing them on a grill or under a hot broiler works best. Popular entree for the whole family.
The next type of food I wanted to cover in the Exploring Sous Vide course is chicken, turkey, and other poultry. I think sous vide transforms chicken and turkey breasts more than just about any other type of meat. They turn out so much more moist and tender than their traditional counterparts, in large part because you can cook them at a lower temperature.
This year I'm trying to explore some new flavors I usually don't use in my cooking. For this recipe I go in a Middle Eastern direction and combine a sous vide chicken breast with some za'atar onions and a bulgur wheat and pomegranate salad. It's a really flavorful but light dish with lots of different textures and tastes.
This recipe takes sous vide cooked chicken thighs and combines it with a tomatillo-based verde sauce for excellent enchiladas. These enchiladas are also convenient to prepare because each step can be done ahead of time.
Using sous vide to cook your chicken wings helps eliminate most of the guess work, always resulting in perfectly cooked chicken. This is very important because no one wants to serve undercooked chicken at a party. These wings are delicious when served with bacon-bourbon BBQ jam, or honey-chipotle BBQ sauce, or both!
Tender crispy chicken wings are always a big hit at any party! Using sous vide to prepare them helps eliminate most of the guess work which always results in crowd pleasing chicken. Since the frying process is now just used to crisp the skin, it can be done at a hotter temperature, resulting in an even crispier yet tender wing.
This recipe tops sous vided chicken with a modernist froth to make a favorite dish that even pickier eaters tend to gobble up! By using xanthan gum in the teriyaki sauce you can turn it into a flavorful froth in a whipping siphon. Even a "basic" food can be the talk of the party!
Chicken piccata is a light Italian dish that uses salty capers and acidic lemon to complement breaded and fried chicken. In this recipe I use sous vide to ensure the chicken is super moist and fully cooked. For a fun modernist take, I turn the lemon caper juice into a delicate air with an immersion blender.
One of the quickest meals to make is using chicken breast in the sous vide. This is a sous vide recipe is from Mick Dimas, Co-Owner of Add THyme. It's for sous vide Chicken Breast in Creamy Spinach Ricotta Sauce and sounds wonderful!
Now that the weather is starting to turn cool it's time to begin cooking some heavier meals again. One of my favorites is chicken parmigiana. There's something about the juicy chicken, crispy crust, and gooey mozzarella cheese combined with the tangy marinara sauce that I just love. I've started using sous vide chicken in my parmigiana and it makes the whole process so much easier. It removes all the guessing from the frying of the crust and you can just focus on making it super crispy. Here is our sous vide chicken parmigiana recipe so you can make it at home.
Right now we are getting lots of spring veggies popping up in our garden and in markets around us. I wanted to do a simple salad to highlight the flavors of our veggies. I also added some sous vide chicken to help make it more filling.
Curries always seemed like exotic and complicated dishes until I started cooking them. While some curries can be very involved, especially if you make your own curry pastes, there are many fast and easy ways to make curry at home. This easy sous vide curry chicken recipe will show you how!
Since publishing our Beginning Sous Vide book many people have commented on the Sous Vide Chicken Mole recipe. I thought I'd reproduce it here so people can get a taste of the more complicated recipes we have in the book. While the book has a focus on simple and easy to make sous vide recipes we also wanted to make sure there were a number of more complex recipes.
Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite Italian dishes to make. It is such a simple recipe and is so easy to make. The only tricky part is trying to make sure the chicken breasts are cooked through without turning them soggy. Using sous vide to pre-cook the chicken breasts eliminates this issue. Read the whole sous vide chicken marsala recipe for the details.
Sous vide chicken is one of the simplest applications of sous vide that there is. Often times chicken gets very dried out when cooked using traditional methods. But following this sous vide chicken recipe solves all of these issues and results in uniformly tender chicken that is very moist.
Using sous vide to cook the BBQ chicken thighs results in very tender meat. This sous vide recipe also focuses on adding the requisite smokiness you need for great BBQ chicken by grilling them at the end with BBQ sauce.
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