Are you ready for the most outrageously delicious chicken you've ever tasted? I'm serious... sous vide chicken is that good!
Fusing the tender juicy texture and taste you get from sous vide cooking with the lusciously crispy coating you get from deep frying, this recipe combines the best of both worlds. The result is a spectacular recipe that will tantalize your taste buds.
Why you'll love this sous vide fried chicken recipe
- When it comes to getting tender, juicy chicken, sous vide cooking is the way to go! This recipe goes one step further, combining the best of both worlds – sous vide fried chicken is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside!
- A very simple recipe once you know how to get the specific steps right.
- The sous vide method of cooking produces consistently brilliant results.
- Master this recipe, and your skills will be transferable, meaning you can use your sous vide machine to whip up all kinds of wonderful recipes.
Equipment you'll need for this recipe
There are a few key items that you'll need when it comes to making this recipe:
- Sous vide machine – the central piece of kit you'll need for this recipe, a sous vide machine is a wonderful kitchen gadget that can be used for many different sous vide recipes. Take a look at my other sous vide recipes at the bottom of the page to get the most out of your sous vide cooker
- Dutch oven – the ideal cooking vessel in which to deep fry your breaded chicken pieces
- Sous vide bags – these special sous vide vacuum seal bags are the ideal way to cook your sous vide chicken. Regular kinds of kitchen bags won't do. These are specially designed to withstand high temperatures during sous vide cooking
- Cooking thermometer – take guesswork out of the equation. A quality thermometer will tell you the precise temperature of the hot oil, ensuring your chicken is perfectly golden every time
How to make this recipe
Vacuum seal the seasoned chicken pieces in a single layer.
Cook in the sous vide for 4 hours. Remove from pouch.
Mix flour and spices together.
Dunk the chicken in the Spiced Buttermilk.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the Seasoned Flour and deep fry. Enjoy with Animal-Style Fries!
Deep fry chicken in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pot. This way, you'll make sure the chicken has a wonderful golden brown colour and crunchy texture.
What to pair with sous vide chicken
There are so many varieties of potatoes you could go for. My top pick is my copycat recipe for Animal-Style Fries – golden brown French fries, heaps of caramelized onions, slices of American cheese and a generous serving of delicious In-and-Out sauce.
You could also opt for a dreamy creamy mashed potato. My creamy garlic mash is to die for, as is my healthier alternative, this classic sweet potato mash. For a lighter carb free option, go for a celery root puree.
Oven baked potatoes are another great option. Parmentier potatoes and rosemary potatoes are both great alternatives. Fancy something a bit more indulgent? Try these luxurious French potatoes, mousseline potatoes.
You can even use sous vide cooking for vegetables! Try my sous vide asparagus for the perfect green side dish to this sous vide chicken recipe.
I recommend going for a lighter bodied white wine. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are always fantastic pairing choices when it comes to chicken, especially with the herbs and subtle spices in this sous vide fried chicken recipe.
A sparkling wine would also be great, cutting through the creaminess of the buttermilk. Cava, Prosecco or Champagne are all excellent options.
Variations to this recipe
- You can also sous vide fried chicken breasts. Check out my recipe!
- Use kosher salt in place of regular sea salt if you wish
- Feel free to play with the spiced in the seasoned flour mixture. I've gone for salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, white pepper and onion powder. Other spices that work include celery seed, ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder and fenugreek.
- For healthier sous vide fried chicken, finish the chicken pieces off in an air fryer instead of deep frying.
- You can replace the buttermilk with egg wash. Just whisk 3 eggs with 1/3 cup of milk or water
- You can swap chicken legs for turkey legs. They will need to be cooked for longer though, so just bear that in mind.
- Be careful not to touch the sealing part of the vacuum bag when placing the chicken in the bags. Any residue around the seal might prevent the vacuum bag from sealing properly.
- Aim to place the meat in a single layer within each bag. This will ensure an even temperature throughout each piece of chicken.
- The sous vide rack is better if it’s placed on its side because pouches won’t be able to float to the top. It still works when facing upright, but isn't as effective.
How do you make sous vide chicken skin crispy?
There's a simple trick that combines the best of both worlds... and that's what this recipe is all about!
Sous vide chicken is wonderfully tender, juicy and delicious. However, for those who love fried chicken, the fact that the outside is not crispy is nothing short of sacrilege.
To combine the juicy meat of sous vide cooking with the crispy golden brown coating of sous vide cooking, all we need to do is finish the chicken in the pan after it's been sous vide cooked.
This is simple and quick – deep fry for just 6–8 minutes and you'll be in fried chicken heaven!
How long does it take to cook chicken in a sous vide machine?
It depends on what cut of meat you're cooking. White chicken, like chicken breast meat, generally takes 3-4 hours. Dark meat, on the other hand, takes between 4-6 hours.
What's the best oil for deep frying?
Peanut oil is perfect. It has a high smoke point, around 232ºC/450ºF, which makes it very heat stable.
If you're looking for an alternative, you want an oil with a high smoke point. The ‘smoke point’, or ‘burning point’ refers to the temperature at which the fat in the oil begins to break down. Once this happens, it turns to smoke.
Heating an oil above its smoke point affects the taste. Plus, the nutrients within the oil are destroyed and harmful free radicals can be released into the oil.
Other good oils would be canola oil, corn oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil.
Can I cook sous vide fried chicken in an air fryer?
Yes. Using an air fryer is possible. You won't get the same delicious crunchiness to your fried chicken, but it will certainly be healthier.
Can I make sous vide chicken ahead of time?
Absolutely! It's a great idea to sous vide the chicken in advance, place it in the refrigerator, then deep fry it just before you're ready to serve it.
How do you store sous vide fried chicken leftovers?
Keep any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight sealable container. They'll keep fresh for 2-3 days.
More superb sous vide recipes
Can't get enough of sous vide cooking? I can't blame you! I love it myself... which is why I've created so many fantastic recipes based around the incredible cooking technique.
Take your pick!
- How to sous vide chicken breasts – these chicken breasts are the most incredibly succulent breast meat you've ever tasted!
- Sous vide beef cheeks – unbelievably tender beef, cooked to perfection every single time
- Sous vide Brussels sprouts – it's not just meat that can be cooked sous vide style. These super sprouts are out of this world, and make the perfect side to a special lunch, particularly around the holiday season
- How to sous vide steak – your guide to the most mouth watering steak you've ever tasted!
- Sous vide asparagus – another incredible vegetable side dish made by sous vide
- Sous vide lamb shoulder – a spectacular lamb recipe that just melts in your mouth
- Sous vide salmon – the best salmon you've ever tasted!
Achieve crispy and juicy perfection with this Sous Vide Fried Chicken recipe. Sous vide cooking ensures tender meat, while frying adds that irresistible crunch!
Sous Vide Chicken Legs
- 6 chicken legs
- salt and pepper
- 60g (4 tbsp) butter
- 5g (1 teaspoon) black pepper
- 5g (1 teaspoon) salt
- 5g (1 teaspoon) paprika
- 2g (1/2 teaspoon) white pepper
- 1g (1/4 teaspoon) dried rosemary
- 1g (1/4 teaspoon) ground thyme
- (1/4 teaspoon) dried oregano
- (1/4 teaspoon) dried sage
- (1/4 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
- 500ml (2 cups) buttermilk
- 240g (2 cups) flour
- 6g (1 teaspoon) salt
- 2g (1/2 teaspoon) paprika
- 2g (1/2 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
- 2g (1/2 teaspoon) garlic powder
- 2g (1/2 teaspoon) white pepper
- 2g (1/2 teaspoon) onion powder
2L (2 quarts) vegetable or peanut oil for frying
- For the Sous Vide Chicken Legs: Preheat the water bath to 80°C / 175°F.
- Section the legs into drumsticks and thighs.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Vacuum seal the drumsticks with the butter in a single layer in a large pouch. Do the same for the thighs.
- Place the sealed pouches in the water bath and cook for 4-6 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the pouches and pat dry.
- For the Spiced Buttermilk: Place all the Spiced Buttermilk ingredients in a large bowl and stir until everything is well incorporated.
- For the Seasoned Flour: Place all the Seasoned Flour ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven to 175°C/350°F - 180°C/356°F).
- Drop a piece of mixture in, if it slowly sizzles to the top then you can fry the chicken. You want the oil to be approx 175C/350F - 180C/356F. The temp will drop when the chicken hits the oil, and that's okay, just try to maintain a heat of around 320F/160C.
- Dunk a piece of chicken in the buttermilk then dredge it in the flour. Shake off any excess.
- Gently place your chicken in the oil, making sure you add the same cuts at the same time so they cook at an even rate. I.e. cook the chicken drumsticks together, and the same counts for the thighs. Do it in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pot.
- Deep fry for 6-8 minutes. Keep in mind that the chicken is already cooked and we are after that crispy, spicy coating everyone craves. So, as soon as the coating turns brown and crispy, remove the chicken with a slotted spoon onto paper towels to drain.
- Serve immediately with Animal-Style Fries. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 hours
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Sous Vide
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: ous vide fried chicken, fried chicken recipe, sous vide chicken recipe, sous vide fried chicken buttermilk, sous vide deep fried chicken, sous vide chicken in buttermilk, sous vide southern fried chicken