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This is a staple recipe for any level sous vide enthusiast. Some might argue, though, why sous vide chicken? Well – obviously those people haven’t tried the tender, juicy results. The fact is, cooking chicken in a pan on the stove can be hit or miss for newbie home chefs. With this method of cooking, chicken will never dry out. Let me show you how to sous vide chicken breast tenders.
With sous vide cooking, chicken breast is cooked through completely with my tried and true time and temp.
I like to make batches of sous vide chicken breast and put them in the refrigerator for salads. It’s perfect with a little Italian dressing, or sometimes I’ll get even more indulgent and add homemade croutons, blue cheese slaw, and sous vide bacon.
Another recipe is a staple for a new mom like me is that I can make it ahead on the weekends and it goes with just about anything!
Salads are wonderful, but won’t keep you full: if you add sous vide chicken to your salad, you get the protein you need and the energy to see you through the day. Though, if I’m really into meal prepping on any given week, I’ll make a couple sous vide whole chicken recipes so they’re ready to cook later the week.
What is sous vide chicken like?
This is the juiciest chicken recipe I’ve tried, and I’ve tried a lot!
There’s something about the sous vide cooking method that just seals those juices in there. The chicken comes out super tender, but not mushy as it sometimes can when cooked with a crock pot.
This tutorial will walk you through how to sous vide chicken and then sear it in a cast iron skillet for optimal browning.
Searing sous vide chicken gives it that restaurant quality I love about sous vide cooking.
The best sous vide chicken breast is firm while still tender. It’s juicy and full of flavor, and is easy to season for different meals.
Ingredients to make chicken sous vide style
For this recipe I prefer to sous vide thin chicken breast – they are more like tenders. You can make this recipe with regular whole chicken breast as well. The cook time and temp will be the same and you will finish it in the same way.
For this recipe, I recommend 4 chicken breasts that can also be sliced in half to make 8 chicken tenders total. I like these thin pieces for salad portions.
They’ll be seared in a pan after cooking in the sous vide bath, and the thinner they are, the more crispy seared flavor you get.
See this easy chicken breast dish you can make in under 20 minutes.
How to sous vide chicken
Step 1. To make this recipe you’ll need to preheat your sous vide machine to 140 ºF. Make this with any machine, like the Anova, Joule, or Instant Pot Slim (see more on the new instant pot sous vide machines). A multipot with sous vide function works, too.
Take advantage of the time while the sous vide bath preheats season to season your chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper.
Step 2. Then vacuum-seal chicken in a flat layer and drop the bag in the sous vide bath.
The flat layer is important for even cooking; you want as much of your chicken to be in contact with the side of the bag as possible.
Sous vide chicken time and temperature
The time and temperature for sous vide chicken is 140ºF for 60 minutes.
When it’s done sous viding
Step 3. After sixty minutes, remove the chicken from the hot water bath and shock the bag in an ice bath for two minutes. Then take the chicken out of the vacuum sealed bag and pat dry.
When you remove it from the bag, don’t be alarmed.
Chicken looks strange after sous vide because the outside hasn’t been finished yet.
It’s cooked, but missing that crispy exterior because it was only cooked to 140ºF. The outside of the chicken now has to be dried and seared in a hot cast iron pan to get that restaurant-style chicken cooked sous vide look and add that extra pizazz of flavor.
Final step: sous vide chicken cast iron finished
Step 4. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
Sear chicken about 1-5 minutes on each side, until browned.
Remember – the inside is cooked from the sous vide process – so you’re just searing the chicken on really high heat to get that tasty crust that makes restaurant style chicken so delicious.
Once done, remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Psst.. another tasty option is to fry sous vide chicken to finish it.
Meal prep chicken with sous vide cooking techniques
This isn’t a new thing – do you know restaurants like Chipotle serve sous vide cooked chicken and steak? It’s a smart way to cook chicken in batches. I do it all the time.
Chicken is a staple in my house – so we sous vide a couple batches at a time. I’ll make a few different types of chicken at the same time. Like breast, plus sous vide wings, plus chicken thighs.
Pizza is another favorite way to enjoy make ahead sous vide chicken tenders. Make a sous vide BBQ chicken pizza with store bought dough.
Serving a crowd? Throw a sous vide bbq party with sous vide bbq chicken tenders as a main dish.
Once you get the sous vide basics down, it’s time to get creative with finishing and serving the chicken. Are you going to keep it plain, or are you going to go a step further and finish them on the grill with BBQ sauce. Or turn them into sous vide fried chicken?
My fav: sous vide chicken tacos!
At my house – which is very inspired by eating out – we tend to do an “apps course” for dinner. That’s a lighter item – usually vegetable-based that we eat while the kiddo is awake. Then after the little guy is in bed, we do a main course.
When we have this chicken ready to go in the fridge the main course is no work at all. I like to line the kitchen island with ready-to-assemble tacos or all the ingredients for sous vide buffalo chicken sandwiches, and we make our own meals.
Simple ways to flavor chicken
Chicken lends itself to a wide variety of flavors, which means you can eat it five days a week and not feel like you’re doing any repetition.
Balsamic glaze is a favorite at my house: tangy and aromatic, it’s perfect if you’ve made sous vide chicken for salad. Sometimes I mix equal parts honey and dijon mustard, or serve sous vide chicken with cream pasta sauce or lemon butter sauce.
When we time it just right, we have chicken and this homemade focaccia recipe ready at the right time – which makes a wonderful lunch.
Classic sides for chicken
Try serving your sous vide chicken with rice pilaf one day, and with roasted vegetables like yellow squash or asparagus the next.
Final tips for sous vide style chicken
- To refrigerate sous vide chicken breast, store it in an airtight, sealed container for up to a week.
- To get picture-perfect browning, heat up your cast iron and a half tablespoon of olive oil to medium-high before adding the chicken.
- A medium-bodied Chardonnay is a classic pairing for sous vide chicken. No matter how you dress up the chicken – even if you make a super spicy sous vide chicken – this versatile white wine will hold up to the test.
Get 100+ of my favorite recipes in The Home Chef’s Sous Vide Cookbook.
New to sous viding chicken tenders and other foods?
Wondering why sous vide is so popular? It’s an easy way to make restaurant style meals at home.
Learn the basic steps for sous vide cooking.
You just need a few things to get started, including this guide on how to vacuum seal meat.
Sous Vide Chicken Breast Cast Iron Finished Recipe [Sip Bite Go]
This is a staple recipe. Sous vide chicken is a great make-ahead dish for parties and entertaining, but it’s also an easy work from home lunch or a fast dinner when we’re all running late. It’s easy to meal prep and is a versatile addition to half a dozen meals. Let me show you how to sous vide chicken.
- 4 pieces chicken breast sliced in half
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat sous vide machine to 140 ºF.
While the sous vide bath preheats, season chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper.
Vacuum-seal chicken in a flat layer and drop the bag in the sous vide bath. The time and temperature for sous vide chicken is 140ºF for 60 minutes. When done, remove the chicken from the hot water and shock the bag in an ice bath for two minutes. Remove chicken from the bag and pat dry.
Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Sear chicken about 1-5 minutes on each side, until browned. Once done, remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
- To refrigerate sous vide chicken breast, store in an airtight, sealed container. This way chicken can be refrigerated for up to one week.
- To get picture-perfect browning, heat up your cast iron and a half tablespoon of olive oil to medium high before adding the chicken.
- A medium-bodied Chardonnay is the classic pairing for sous vide chicken; no matter how you dress it up, this versatile wine will hold up to the test.
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