It’s not fair, really — this idea that chicken breasts are the easiest food to cook. Over- or undercooked breasts can be discouraging to newbie cooks who wonder why they can’t pull off such a seemingly simple preparation. The truth is, it’s actually quite a challenge to prepare a chicken breast that’s cooked through but still juicy and encased in a crispy, golden skin, and there’s plenty of seemingly fancier fare that’s far easier to get right.
Related: How To Cook A Juicy Chicken Breast
But this is all in the past. Or it should be, according to our friends at ChefSteps. Because when you cook chicken breasts in a sous vide bath, they’re heated just enough to cook through. That means you don’t have to go through the hand-wringing process of wondering when, exactly, to pull them out of the oven. Just set the bath and let ’em sit until you’re ready to give the skin a quick sear, then serve ’em up with whatever killer side you’ve got prepared. This is worry-free weekday cooking at its finest, folks. Check out the simple instructional video below.
1 chicken breast, 1 inch thick
Salt, as needed
Oil, optional, as needed
Butter, optional, as needed
Ziplock-style bag (1 gallon)
Sous vide setup
[Editor’s note: ChefSteps cooks sous vide with the Joule, a tool created by its in-house team of chefs, designers, and engineers. Joule is a Wi-Fi-connected device that you control with your smartphone. For more, check out Food Republic’s independent review of the device.]
- Preheat Joule to 149°F.
- Gently place chicken breast in a ziplock-style bag. Sprinkle on some salt and add a couple tablespoons of oil, butter or other fat — just enough to keep the chicken breasts lightly coated.
- Place the bag in the water and clip to the side to prevent any liquids from transferring to or from the bag. (Simply place the food in the bag and lower the bag into the water, leaving the mouth of the bag open above the surface.) Cook for 55 minutes at 149°F.
- When the breast is finished cooking, remove it from the bag and gently pat it dry. Add a little oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high heat until very hot. If you’re using a chicken breast with the skin on, simply sear on the skin side. If you’re cooking a skinless chicken breast, sear on the smooth side. Leave the chicken in the pan for about two minutes, or until golden brown. For skinless breasts, you can forgo the searing step altogether for a simple, juicy appearance.
- Serve! Slice into pieces or serve whole.
ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. You can also get access to all of ChefSteps’ Premium content — including paid classes and dozens of recipes available only to Premium members for a onetime fee — for the special price of $24 (regularly $39). Classes include Sous Vide: Beyond the Basics, Fluid Gels, French Macarons and more!