Sous vide is a long slow cooking method that requires low temperatures to prepare food. Therefore, it’s a perfect match for chicken recipes because chicken tends to come out dry and chewy with regular cooking.
Sous vide is your best bet when it comes to juicy chicken thighs with the right tender consistency. It will ensure that your chicken does not undercook or overcook.
Now, do you go with boneless chicken with skin or bone-in chicken with no skin? What temperatures will you need? Let’s find out with this recipe.
Choosing your chicken thigh meat
When it comes to choosing chicken thigh meat, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Whether you want it boneless, bone-in, with or without skin, pick the one that feels best for you.
Either type of meat will work fine because both still turn out flavorful and moist with sous vide. The only difference is that you get a little less meat with bone-in, and you get a bit more meat with the boneless one.
In this recipe, we’ll go with the bone-in chicken because it tends to have a sweet spot around the bone that’s unmatchable.
TIP: Always go for chicken meat with skin if you want a crispy sear after cooking.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Set sous vide machine to 74°C/165°F. These temperatures are great for firm, juicy chicken thighs.
The USDA recommends that chicken’s internal cooking temperatures should be 165°F for it to be safe to eat.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Put the seasoned thighs in a vacuum bag and add in the thyme sprigs. Now seal the bag using a vacuum sealer or the water displacement method, whichever is more convenient for you.
Place the bag in the heated water bath and let it cook for one hour and a half.
TIP: For frozen chicken thighs, add one more hour of cook time. That will make it two and a half hours in total.
When the chicken thighs are ready, take them out and pat them dry using paper towels. Season some more with salt and pepper for searing.
You can sear using a frying pan, grill, or a flame torch. The trick is to make sure that you sear over very high heat to brown the skin and avoid more meat-cooking.
When using a frying pan, pour a considerable amount of olive oil or butter in the pan. More oil will prevent the skin from sticking to the pan. Sear for one minute on each side until deliciously browned.
If you prefer the smoky taste of a grill, turn it up to 450°F, then grill the thighs for two minutes on both sides. Alternatively, you can brown it with a searing torch.
Serve the mouth-watering chicken thighs. You can serve with potatoes or rice.
If you don’t want to eat it right away, you can let it cool down, then shred it to use later. Shredded chicken is excellent for chicken soup and chicken salads.