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Sous Vide Chicken Breasts

Sous Vide Chicken Breasts are the most tender and juicy boneless skinless chicken breasts I’ve ever eaten. They are cooked to a precise temperature so that there is no overcooking or undercooking. Just perfectly cooked chicken breasts every single time.
Prep Time - 15 minutes
Cook Time - 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time - 1 hour 35 minutes
Author - Jennifer

  • 2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • butter , for searing
  1. Fill stockpot or sous vide container 3/4 full of water. Place on heat-proof surface and add immersion circulator.
  2. Heat water to temperature based on your preferred doneness for your chicken. We prefer our chicken cooked to 149 degrees F. You can go up to 158 for chewier chicken.
  3. While water is heating, season chicken breasts and place them each in a separate plastic zip-top bag OR vacuum-seal bag. Add a drizzle of olive oil.
  4. When water is heated, lower each bag into the water making sure the meat is fully submerged. Fold top of bag over the side of the stockpot. Clip bag to the side, if needed.
  5. Set timer for cook time. Cook time depends on thickness of your chicken (1-inch = 45 minutes, 1 1/2-inches = 90 minutes).
  6. After cook time is finished, remove bags from sous vide and remove chicken breasts from bag. Preheat heavy skillet over high heat. Place 1 Tbsp butter or olive oil in skillet then sear chicken breasts 1 minute on each side.
I recommend the Joule Sous Vide appliance if you’re new to sous vide cooking. It has a fantastic app that you can download that will help guide you through the cooking process for pretty much anything you’d like to cook. You set the temperature and cook time within the app then your food will be cooked precisely at temperature until the app tells you that your food is cooked. After your food is cooked, you can leave it for up to 2 hours in most cases and your food will still be perfect.

You will also need a sous vide container or a large stockpot to use as a cooking vessel. I always use a large stockpot because I like to buy things that pull double-duty in my kitchen. I don’t have a lot of space to store items that I won’t use very often. Whichever container you choose, be sure to put your container on a heat-proof surface because it will get hot while your food is cooking.
Sous Vide Chicken Breasts are the perfect beginner sous vide recipe because they don’t require a lot of steps and they literally turn out perfectly every time because of the precision cooking temperature. You can’t even mess these up.

The first step to perfect Sous Vide Chicken is to trim your chicken breasts. If you wouldn’t want to eat it, remove it from the breast before it goes into the bag. I season mine with salt and pepper for a basic chicken breast dinner or if I’m serving the chicken as part of another dish, such as Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, but you can use lots of other herbs and seasonings if you choose.

I like to buy my chicken in bulk and keep it in the freezer until I’m ready to cook it. Spoiler alert – you can sous vide cook frozen chicken breasts! I’ll share more about using frozen chicken breasts in Key to Success #3 so keep reading. If you’re going to be freezing your chicken breasts, go ahead and season the chicken breasts before you put them into the freezer. Be sure t label the bag so that you’ll know what kind of seasoning you used.
With a sous vide cooker, you’ll put your meat into a plastic zip-top bag or into a vacuum seal bag then place the bag into a water bath. I have a Foodsaver vacuum sealer machine that I use to vacuum seal my meat before I put it into the sous vide cooker. The Foodsaver that I have has a built-in express bag maker so that you can create bags to the perfect size on the fly. You can buy pre-made bags in either quart size or gallon size too. And they do not have to be the Foodsaver brand!

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use a standard zip-top Ziploc bag. Leave the top of the bag unsealed and slowly lower the bag with the meat into the water so that the pressure from the water pushes out all the air from the bag. Then fold the top of the bag over the lip of the sous vide container and use a chip bag clip to secure it.

For perfect Sous Vide Chicken Breasts, I like to set the precision temperature to 149 degrees F. This temperature results in a tender and juicy breasts. For a firmer bite, you can go up to 158 degrees F or even higher if you desire.

The cook time depends largely on how thick your chicken breast is. For a 1-inch thick fresh chicken breast, cook for 45 minutes. For a 1 1/2-inch thick fresh chicken breast, cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. If in doubt, go with the longer cook time. Your chicken breast will still be perfectly cooked because you can leave meats in a sous vide for up to 2 hours past the minimum cook time and the meat will still be perfectly cooked.

You can also cook frozen chicken breasts sous vide. The cooking temperature will be the same as if you were using fresh chicken breasts but you will increase the cooking time. For frozen chicken breasts, cook a 1-inch thick chicken breast for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cook a 1 1/2-inch thick chicken breast for 1 hour and 55 minutes. Again, these are minimum cook times. You can leave the chicken in the sous vide up to 2 hours past this time and it will still be perfect.
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