Sous vide chicken thigh risotto.

The Juiciest Sous Vide Chicken Thigh Recipe

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Move over chicken breasts, we’re officially obsessed with this sous vide chicken thigh recipe.

We’ve always been sous vide cooking aficionados, especially when it comes to red meat.

We’re huge fans of sous vide steaks (we made this incredible Sous Vide Steak Sandwich during our first on-air cooking demo), we’ve never had a more perfectly cooked prime rib than our Sous Vide Prime Rib, and our family loves our Sous Vide Chateaubriand

However, this chicken recipe is a new favorite in our recipe arsenal.

All it takes is putting boneless chicken thighs in a sous vide at the perfect temperature with the perfect time to create the juiciest chicken you’ve ever tasted.

While you can make this recipe with skinless chicken thighs, we love opting for skin-on chicken.

A quick sear in a skillet before serving creates a nice texture on the skin of the chicken, and nothing is better than crispy chicken skin after it’s also been sous vide.

This method of cooking will create juicy thighs, every time single time.

Preparing sous vide chicken thighs.

What is the Sous Vide Method of Cooking

Sous vide is our favorite cooking method. It seems fancy and intimidating, but think of it as a water based slow cooker. 

You can seriously set it and forget it once you prepare your sous vide.

You’ll start by preheating the sous vide water bath by placing your immersion circulator stick into a deep pot full of water.

Whatever you set your immersion circulator to, the water will reach that exact temperature.

Next, you’ll add your food to a waterproof ziploc bag with any marinade or herbs you’d like to flavor your food with. 

We often use butter and fresh herbs.

Finally, you’ll just drop the ziploc bag into the water and let it cook.

The science behind the sous vide is that your food will cook to the exact temperature of the water, from edge to edge.

This means precisely cooked meats compared to traditional methods where the edges will be cooked at a higher internal temperature than the center.

Once you cook your food for the duration needed, your food will be fully cooked.

Most people like to add a hot, fast sear to the outside of the meat in order to add a nice char and texture.

Sous vide chicken thigh on risotto.

What are the Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking?

There are so many reasons why we’re obsessed with using our sous vide immersion circulator to create delicious meals at home.

  • Juicy Chicken – Since you are cooking your chicken thighs in a bag, all of the meats juices are redistributed in the chicken! Compared to any other cooking method, you’ll have the best results when it comes to plump, juicy chicken meat.
  • Perfectly Cooked Meat – Your food is cooked at a precise temperature which means you don’t risk overcooking and drying out your meat.
  • Meal Prep – Meal prep is made easy! You can meal prep using your sous vide machine by making the sous vide chicken thighs ahead of time, keeping them in the fridge for up to three days, and searing them before serving.
  • Flavor Infusion – If you add herbs or spices to your sous vide bag, they will infuse with the chicken faster through the sous vide method over traditional cooking. 
Sous vide chicken thighs.

Equipment Needed for Sous Vide Chicken Thighs

Once you have some standard pieces of equipment, you’re all set to sous vide.

  • Sous Vide Immersion Circulator – we use an Anova Precision Cooker, but there are a number of high-quality immersion circulators for home chefs on the market.
  • Large Pot or Water Container – Typically we use an 18 quart container when we sous vide. You can also just use a large stockpot or even buy a fancy sous vide water vessel with a lid to help to control water loss due to evaporation during longer cooks.
  • Vacuum Sealer – While you can just use the water displacement method (we show how to do the water displacement method in the cooking video on How to Sous Vide Steak) and ziploc bags, using a vacuum sealing machine is an even more secure and heavy duty way to prepare your food for the sous vide. We typically use a vacuum sealer when we sous vide foods that have bones or for seafood still in the shell like our Foolproof Sous Vide Lobster Recipe.
  • Long Tongs – The water in the water bath will be warm, be sure to protect yourself from the heat by using a set of long tongs to fish the vacuum sealed bag out.
Sous vide chicken thigh ice bath.

Sous Vide Cooking Time

Each food has a different sous vide cooking time. 

This is going to vary based on the type of food, the amount of connective tissue, and the thickness of the cut.

Typically you can’t overcook your food in the sous vide.

However, having your meat in the sous vide for too long can impact the overall texture of the meat, even if it is still at the target internal temperature.

For our sous vide chicken thighs, we left them in a 165 degree F water bath for 90 minutes. 

You could probably sous vide the chicken thighs for as long as three hours, but we do find that chicken meat can get a little “mushy” if it is in the sous vide for too long.

Searing sous vide chicken thighs.

Sous Vide Chicken Thighs Recipe

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 90 Minutes

Additional Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of boneless skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Add water to a large vessel and add your sous vide immersion circulator, preheat the water to 165 degrees F.
  2. Season each side of your chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.
  3. Place chicken thighs with pats of butter and thyme in a ziploc bag and remove air using the water displacement method or use a vacuum bag with a vacuum sealer.
  4. Add the sealed bag to the hot water and sous vide your chicken for 90 minutes.
  5. Use tongs to remove your ziploc bags of chicken from the water bath and place the whole bag in an ice bath for 2 minutes to stop the cooking process.
  6. Next, heat up some oil with a high smoke point (like grapeseed or avocado oil) in a large cast iron skillet at medium-high heat.
  7. Remove your chicken from the sous vide bag and use a paper towel to pat the outside of the chicken dry, then add the boneless chicken thighs to the skillet in a single layer, skin side down, with oil.
  8. Sear the meat in hot oil until lightly golden brown, then flip the chicken over, add the chicken juices from the sous vide bag, plus more butter and thyme to create a pan sauce. We used this sauce as the start for our Creamy Chicken Risotto Recipe.

Note: Remember that your sous vide chicken thighs are already fully cooked once removing them from the sous vide. The searing portion of the recipe is strictly to crisp up the skin.

You can meal prep by making the sous vide chicken thighs ahead of time, keeping them in the fridge for up to three days, and searing them before serving.

Sous vide chicken thigh risotto.

Juicy Sous Vide Chicken Thigh Recipe

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Looking for the juiciest chicken recipe?? This foolproof sous vide chicken thigh recipe is moist, flavorful, and tender.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of boneless skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Add water to a large vessel and add your sous vide immersion circulator, preheat the water to 165 degrees F.
  2. Season each side of your chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.
  3. Place chicken thighs with pats of butter and thyme in a ziplock bag and remove air using the water displacement method or use a vacuum bag with a vacuum sealer.
  4. Add the sealed bag to the hot water and sous vide your chicken for 90 minutes.
  5. Use tongs to remove your ziplock bags of chicken from the water bath and place the whole bag in an ice bath for 2 minutes to stop the cooking process.
  6. Next, heat up some oil with a high smoke point (like grapeseed or avocado oil) in a large cast iron skillet at medium-high heat.
  7. Remove your chicken from the sous vide bag and use a paper towel to pat the outside of the chicken dry, then add the boneless chicken thighs to the skillet in a single layer, skin side down, with oil.
  8. Sear the meat in hot oil until lightly golden brown, then flip the chicken over, add the chicken juices from the sous vide bag, plus more butter and thyme to create a pan sauce. We used this sauce as the start for our Creamy Chicken Risotto Recipe.

Notes

Note: Remember that your sous vide chicken thighs are already fully cooked once removing them from the sous vide. The searing portion of the recipe is strictly to crisp up the skin.

You can meal prep by making the sous vide chicken thighs ahead of time, keeping them in the fridge for up to three days, and searing them before serving.

Did you make this recipe?

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What to Serve with Chicken Thighs:

Whether you making this sous vide recipe or want to know How to make baked chicken thighs, here are some tasty side dish options.

  • Air Fryer Broccolini – You will forget broccoli ever existed when you swap it out for air fryer broccolini.  They are crispy, tasty, and seasoned perfectly. 
  • Bacon Butternut Squash – A fantastic balance of sweet meets salty, and bacon and butternut squash are great with chicken. 
  • Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage and Sage – Without question this is our favorite side dish. You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving! Serve it with chicken thighs for a hearty meal.
  • Smoked Mac and Cheese – Creamy, flavorful, and cheesy! Talk about a yummy southern style side!
  • Creamy Chicken Risotto – Risotto is a labor of love, but when serving it with our sous vide chicken thigh we promise it will be a memorable meal. 
  • Creamy Parmesean Polenta – A great substitute for the same old mashed potatoes, polenta is sweet, savory, and cheesy all in one bite.
  • Southern Corn Pudding Recipe – This recipe uses brown butter to create another flavor dimension! It’s better than cornbread and couldn’t be easier to make.
Sous vide chicken thigh risotto.

Check out These Other Amazing Sous Vide Recipes:

Sous vide chicken thighs.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Janice Myers
    April 25, 2023 at 1:18 am

    How many thighs in each vacuum sealed bag?

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