Sous Vide Chicken Breast – Delicious Recipe
What is Sous Vide?
Sous Vide is French for "under vacuum" which basically means that your food is in a sealed plastic bag or vacuum-sealed bag and cooked in a controlled temperature setting first. It is said that Sous Vide is a way of cooking that preserves vitamins and nutrients in the food, which is often lost through traditional ways of cooking. It also offers more moist and tender meat that maintains its flavor better. In this article, we’re covering how to cook delicious sous vide chicken breast.
Sous Vide is attributed to two French chefs - Bruno Boussault and George Pralus - who worked on developing this method on their own, before coming together and refining the technique. This technique was developed in 1971 and was originally thought of as a way to make roast beef more tender.
Sous Vide has risen in popularity due to its consistency to create food that is delicious with minimal effort. It is said to be more dependable than using an oven, stove, or grill, due to its consistency in recreating the same results - flavorful, moist meat.
What is Chicken Breast?
Chicken Breast is lean cut meat taken from the underside of a chicken - think pectoral muscle area as the name suggests. Chicken breast is considered the healthiest cut of chicken there is, it is also more expensive than drums, thighs, or wings, as the chicken breast is usually boneless.
More popular ways to cook chicken breast include:
- simple baked chicken breast
- roasted chicken breast
- classic grilled chicken breast
- fried chicken
- marinated stove-top chicken
- stuffed chicken breasts
However, with most ways to cook chicken, there is a large risk of the chicken drying out. And no one likes dry chicken breasts. If your chicken comes out too dry, people will usually resort to dipping it in something...like ketchup. And nothing feels worse than spending time making the perfectly seasoned chicken breast just to have someone dip it in ketchup. Yuck.
Sous Vide is simply a way to lock in the juices in your meat as a solo way to cook, or as a prelude to other forms like grilling or stove-top. Keep your meat moist and flavorful and keep your dinner guests coming back for more.
Steps to Delicious Sous Vide Chicken Breast
There are a few ways to make Sous Vide, for this particular how-to, we will focus on a way to make Sous Vide with things you will already have in your home and pantry. Then, if you want to make things easier on yourself, you can try some of the tips and tricks below.
To make a very simple Sous Vide Chicken Breast you will start off with a few things:
- Chicken Breast (6oz)
- Ziploc Freezer Bag
- Stock Pot (large enough pot to hold the bag of chicken)
- Meat/Water Thermometer
- Vegetable/Olive Oil (1 tbsp)
- Spices (Italian Seasoning)
- Salt (1/2 tbsp)
- Garlic Paste (2 tsp)
1. Fill pot with water
Make sure to leave enough room for the water displacement once the bag of chicken has been immersed.
2. Bring to boil
Bring water to 160 degrees, water must remain at a constant temperature, so adjust accordingly. This might take a few tries.
3. Mix Ingredients
Mix salt, spices, garlic paste, and oil together to create a paste. Place chicken in Ziploc along with the paste and mix around until the chicken is coated.
4. Seal Chicken
Keeping the bag open, slowly immerse the bag into the water until the chicken is covered, this should force any air out of the bag, then seal the bag while still above the waterline. If the air has been removed properly, the bag should stay immersed. If the bag floats, remove it from the water, open the bag, and repeat the process (carefully as water and bag will be hot).
Making sure your temperature remains consistent, allow the chicken to cook for 1 hour.
6. Optional Preparations
If you plan to use the Chicken Breast in a salad, in a chilled dish or saving for later - once the chicken has finished cooking, remove the bag from the water and (while still sealed) cool the chicken under cool/cold running water.
If you are wanting to crisp the chicken - heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet on high heat and sear on both sides of the breast to crisp the outside. This method is usually preferred if using skin-on chicken breast.
If you are wanting to grill your chicken - Prepare your grill as desired and grill the breasts accordingly while not allowing the chicken to be on the grill too long or you risk losing some of the moisture in the breast.
Sous Vide Chicken Breast
- 6 oz Chicken Breast
- 1 tbsp Vegetable/Olive Oil
- Spices (Italian Seasoning)
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 2 tsp Garlic Paste
- Fill pot with water. Make sure to leave enough room for the water displacement once the bag of chicken has been immersed.
- Bring water to 160 degrees, water must remain at a constant temperature, so adjust accordingly. This might take a few tries.
- Mix salt, spices, garlic paste, and oil together to create a paste. Place chicken in Ziploc along with the paste and mix around until the chicken is coated.
- Keeping the bag open, slowly immerse the bag into the water until the chicken is covered, this should force any air out of the bag, then seal the bag while still above the waterline. If the air has been removed properly, the bag should stay immersed. If the bag floats, remove it from the water, open the bag, and repeat the process (carefully as water and bag will be hot).
- Making sure your temperature remains consistent, allow the chicken to cook for 1 hour.
The Better Way
Now that you know how to make delicious Sous Vide with the things you already have on hand, let me tell you the better way to make Sous Vide!
You will follow the same steps, but instead of playing guesswork with the temperature, buying and using a precision cooker (otherwise known as an immersion circulator, or Sous Vide Machine) to heat the water precisely and evenly. And since we know that the Sous Vide method is amazing and that you will want to use it over and over, these machines are well worth the money! However, if you decide to use a Sous Vide machine, make sure to leave enough room for the Ziploc or vacuum bag to not be touching the circulator while in the pot.
Another easier way to do this is by getting vacuum-sealed bags and a vacuum sealer, this is a great way to meal prep multiple days of food to cook later, or to cook and then store for later so when the mood hits, you can just reheat and eat.
- Marinating your meat overnight in the Ziploc or vacuum bag can help lock in even more flavor, especially if making barbecued meat or using jerk marinades.
- Since the Sous Vide method keeps the food out of the direct heat/water source, dry aromatic spices and seasonings can be used by placing them directly in the bag and removed before service.
- Many types of meat can be cooked using the Sous Vide method, so be sure to look up a cooking guide so as to not overcook your amazing entree!
Now that you know how to cook Sous Vide style, do you think you will try it and love it just as much as I did? I know that since trying this method for the first time, I have explored so many ways of using it and have never gone back to the old way of preparing meats and meals. There are just too many benefits, and the clean-up is much easier!