Sous Vide Chicken and Broccoli
This is a really basic, starter recipe for new sous vide cooks. The chicken alone is worth trying, because it’s great in salads, soups, or even something like enchiladas. It’s perfectly cooked, juicy, tender, and easy.
I took the extra step of cooking some broccoli along with the chicken to round out the meal. It cooks in a separate bag but at the same temperature.
NEW TO SOUS VIDE? START HERE
I think sous vide is something that all home cooks can — and should! — learn to do because it takes a lot of the stress and guesswork out of cooking. You can prep your food in advance in the bags and then cook it when you have time.
If you’re new to sous vide, take a quick read through these intro posts:
NAILING THE TEMPERATURE FOR SOUS VIDE CHICKEN
If you cook chicken often, you are probably familiar with the FDA recommendation to always cook chicken to 165°F for safety, but food safety is actually function of both temperature and time. This means it’s safe to cook chicken at a lower temperature as long as you hold that temperature for a long period of time.
Using a sous vide method, you could cook chicken at 150°F assuming you held the temperature for many hours. Personally, I find 158°F to be a good middle ground. It gives the chicken the texture that I like, but is still super juicy.
Plus, if you’re cooking broccoli at the same time, this temperature gives you blanched, but still fairly crispy broccoli, which is my favorite. It’s especially useful for packing lunches because it’s delicious cold (in a salad, say), but both the broccoli and the chicken won’t overcook even if you zap them in the microwave.
HOW TO PREP CHICKEN FOR SOUS VIDE
If you end up making a lot of sous vide meals, it might be worth it to invest in a vacuum sealer, which sucks all the air out of the sous vide bags so they stay submerged in the water.
But, if you’re just starting out, there is a shortcut to vacuum-sealing: the water displacement method.
Make sure your food is in one even layer in your bag and then slowly submerge the bag into a pot of water. You can do this before heating the water for sous vide cooking or while it’s warming up — just be careful if the water is already steaming!
The pressure of the water against the bag will force air out of the bag . Seal it when the bag is almost completely submerged (try to avoid getting water in the bag).
This method might not be perfect, but it works well! If you’re cooking foods with a lot of nooks and crannies where air bubbles get trapped, like broccoli, add some weight to hold it down and keep it from floating. You can either place a heavy bowl over the pot or seal a few heavy soup spoons into the bag with the broccoli.
HOW TO MAKE SOUS VIDE CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI
If you’ve ever considered diving into the sous vide world, this is a great starter recipe and the results are fantastic for a simple dinner. This Chicken and Broccoli also makes a fantastic weekday lunch — the chicken stays juicy even a few days after it’s cooked, and the broccoli is crispy and bright green.
The joy of sous vide cooking is knowing that you can cook recipes like this one well in advance and they will not be overcooked (dry) and you’ll have consistently delicious leftovers!
You might think that this chicken will be boring with just salt and pepper, and you could jazz it up with other herbs if you were so inclined, but the chicken comes out so juicy that I find it doesn’t need much else. Just having beautifully cooked chicken and snappy broccoli is enough for me!
Have questions about sous vide cooking? Leave a comment below!
MORE SOUS VIDE RECIPES TO TRY!
Updated January 2, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the recipe.