Sous Vide Fried Chicken has a crispy, crunchy crust on the outside and tender, juicy meat on the inside.
It’s the simplest way to fry chicken because sous vide produces evenly cooked meat, which is then coated in flour and buttermilk and quickly deep fried to golden perfection. Excellent for a potluck or picnic!
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WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- It’s a quick way to make fried chicken. While the chicken must be fried for a few minutes at the end, the sous vide portion is completely hands-off.
- It’s a foolproof method for getting perfectly cooked and evenly cooked chicken. Because of the controlled temperature of a sous vide water bath, your chicken will never be undercooked or dried out, but will always be deliciously tender and juicy.
- It is possible to prepare it ahead of time. You can cook your chicken ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bread and fry it.
WHAT IS SOUS VIDE?
Sous vide is essentially a method of cooking that employs an immersion circulator.
This immersion circulator circulates water in a temperature-controlled water bath at a specific temperature to ensure that your food is perfectly cooked every time.
Because the temperature does not change and your meat (or dessert, vegetables, etc.) remains at the same temperature, the risk of overcooking is greatly reduced.
INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTES
- I used skin-on chicken legs for the drumsticks. Chicken thighs, wings, or breasts can also be used. See the recipe notes for details on how to adjust the cooking time.
- I used regular table salt, but you can use sea salt or Kosher salt instead. The best black pepper is freshly ground black pepper.
- Buttermilk: It aids in the adhesion of the coating to the chicken. You can substitute beaten eggs.
- For this recipe, use all-purpose flour.
- Cornstarch: It aids in the browning of the chicken on the outside, making it extra crispy. So don’t pass it up!
- Other Seasonings: Paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried oregano enhance the flavor of the fried chicken.
- Vegetable oil: Peanut oil or canola oil have a high smoke point and are ideal for deep-frying.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- Heat a sous vide water bath to 155°F. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in a zip-top bag. To remove the air from the bag, vacuum seal it with a vacuum sealer or use a heavy duty ziplock bag and the water displacement method (see above).
- 90 minutes in the oven The chicken can be left in the water bath for up to 3 hours before it becomes too mushy. While the chicken is cooking, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce and chill until ready to use.
- Set aside the flour, cornstarch, Cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper (if using) in a bowl.
- Take the chicken out of the bag and pat it dry. Each piece of chicken should be dipped in the flour mixture and shaken off any excess.
- Dip into the buttermilk, allowing any excess to drip off.
- To finish the batter, re-dip in the flour mixture.
- In a Dutch oven, heat 3-4 inches of oil to 350°F. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, with 2-3 thighs.
- Remove the chicken from the oil and place it on a wire rack to drain (with a paper towel underneath). Serve immediately with a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
WHAT TEMPERATURE DO YOU SOUS VIDE CHICKEN?
I recommend a temperature of 155°F (68°C). At this temperature, the chicken will be perfectly tender and juicy.
If you want to be extra safe, cook it to 165°F. It will still taste great with a slightly firmer texture.
According to the USDA, if you notice some pink hues, it’s safe to eat as long as the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
HOW TO PREVENT BREADING ON THE CHICKEN FROM FALLING OFF?
When you remove the chicken from the sous vide machine, you should wipe off any excess moisture. Then here’s a great tip to keep the breading from falling off:
Dredge the chicken in flour – dip it in buttermilk – dredge it again in flour!
This double dredging method also results in super crispy and crunchy chicken (see the step-by-step photo collage above).
Make sure to wring out any excess buttermilk and flour. Then, fry a few pieces at a time to avoid overcrowding your pot.
WHAT IS THE BEST OIL TO USE FOR DEEP FRYING?
When deep-frying, it’s best to use vegetable oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil or canola oil. Preheat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
When you add the coated chicken, the temperature will drop slightly. Adjust the heat to keep the temperature between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Removing the air from the bag is an important step that should not be overlooked in order to prevent bacteria from entering the bag.
- If you use different cuts of chicken for this recipe, such as wings, drumsticks, or breasts, keep in mind that they all have different cooking times and that you may need to adjust the temperature of your water bath.
- Add more cayenne pepper and/or hot sauce for a spicier version.
- Keep the oil hot while frying the chicken. The ideal temperature is 325 degrees Fahrenheit. I like to keep a thermometer on hand while cooking to check the temperature.
- You also don’t want to overcrowd the pan because the oil temperature may drop below 325F degrees. To keep the temperature stable, fry the chicken in at least two batches.
- Use a flaky sea salt to finish the chicken when it is just coming out of the oil so it sticks to the crispy batter.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make it, first sous vide the chicken, then fry it in the traditional way or with an air fryer. The best part is that frying chicken is almost a foolproof way to get started if you’re new to frying or sous vide. It will always be completely cooked.
Sous vide is a French cooking technique in which food is vacuum-sealed in a bag and then cooked at a precise temperature in a warm water bath for an extended period of time. So, before deep frying, sous vide chicken ensures perfectly tender and juicy meat.
Boiling water is the secret solution! Before you cook the skin in any way, simply pour boiling water over it until it contracts. This method is applicable to both sous vide and non-sous vide cooking! It crisps up MUCH faster and more evenly after cooking, and it doesn’t leave any creepy bits.
I recommend cooking your boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 1 hour sous vide. Some people like to cook their chicken breasts for 75 minutes, but I find that 1 hour is plenty of time for this sous vide chicken breast recipe, and it gets those perfectly tender chicken breasts to my plate even faster!
Inspired by: https://izzycooking.com/sous-vide-fried-chicken/