Easy Sous Vide Chicken Thighs. I use modernist cooking techniques for an easy weeknight chicken dinner (after a few hours of sous vide cooking).
You don’t know the power of the dark side…of the chicken. Join us! We have flavor!
Famous chefs use Modernist Cuisine to make the perfect meal. Me? I use it to get dinner on the table in ten minutes.
Months ago, I bought chicken thighs on sale at the grocery store. My meal prep is seasoning them with salt and pepper, vacuum sealing them in flat, single layers, and freezing them. When I need an easy chicken thigh dinner, I fill my sous vide tank with water, set my sous vide circulator to 80°C (176°F), and drop in a bag of frozen chicken thighs before I start work. The chicken thighs are ready to sear whenever I'm ready for dinner.
Look at that - weeknight sous vide. Ten minutes of active time and I’m ready to serve tender chicken with crackling crisp skin, perfectly cooked dark meat, and a tasty pan sauce.
- SousVide machine (I use a Anova Sous Vide circulator and a big Rubbermaid professional food storage container)
- Vacuum sealer and gallon vacuum bags (to seal the chicken thighs)
- Large, heavy fry pan (I use a large cast iron pan or a 12-inch frypan)
- Coffee filters or a fine mesh strainer
- Bone-in chicken thighs
- Fine sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Dry rosé wine (or white wine)
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh rosemary
See the recipe card for details
Sous Vide Chicken Thighs Step By Step Instructions
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and vacuum seal them in a single layer. Sous vide at 176°F/80°C for 4 to 8 hours.
Remove the chicken thighs from the bag, saving the liquid. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Heat a heavy frypan over medium-high heat, then add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and sear until the skin is crisp and brown, about 3 minutes. Remove to a platter.
Strain the juices in the vacuum bag through a fine mesh strainer. Add the slices of garlic to the frypan and cook until browned, about 1 minute. Add the wine, strained juices, and herb sprigs to the frypan, and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Serve the chicken thighs, passing the pan sauce at the table. Enjoy!
- Why strain the juices from the bag? It filters out coagulated proteins - a trick I picked up from StefanGourmet.com. This keeps the sauce from looking terrible, with a layer of curdled protein scum floating on top.
- What if I do not drink...wine? Use chicken broth instead, or skip the wine and just use the juices from the sous vide bag.
- Can I use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe? Yes, but cut the sous vide time down to 2 hours.
- Why sous vide? The long, slow cooking time gives me tender and juicy chicken, and it can't overcook, so it's ready when I am. Just pull the bag from the circulator, cut it open, and chicken dinner is ready.
Sous Vide Chicken Thighs use modernist cooking techniques for an easy weeknight dinner (after a few hours of sous vide cooking).
- 8 chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
- ½ cup dry rosé wine (or white wine)
- Juices from the sous vide bag, strained through a coffee filter or a fine mesh strainer
- A couple sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
- Sous Vide the chicken thighs at 176°F for 4 to 8 hours: Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt and ½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Seal the chicken thighs in a single layer in a large (gallon/3.8 liter) vacuum bag. (You can freeze the thighs at this point for up to six months.) Sous vide at 176°F/80°C for 4 to 8 hours. (Go for at least 6 hours if the chicken thighs are frozen.)
- Sear the skin side of the chicken: Cut open the vacuum bag and remove the chicken thighs, then strain the juices in the vacuum bag through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter and set the juices aside. Pat the skin side of the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Preheat a frypan over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Place the chicken thighs in the frypan skin side down. Sear the thighs until the skin is browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Move the chicken to a serving platter.
- Make a pan sauce: Add the garlic slivers to the pan and cook until you smell garlic and they are just starting to brown around the edges, about 1 minute. Immediately pour in the wine and scrape any browned bits of chicken loose from the bottom of the pan. Pour in the strained juices and add the sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Increase the heat to high and simmer until the juices reduce by half, about five minutes.
- Serve: Discard the herb sprigs and stir 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt and ½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper into the pan sauce. Pour the sauce into a serving bowl or gravy boat. Serve the chicken thighs, passing the pan sauce at the table. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Category: Weeknight Dinner
- Method: Sous Vide
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Sous Vide Chicken Thighs
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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Click here for my other sous vide recipes.
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