Sous Vide Fried Chicken has a crispy and crunchy crust on the outside with the most tender and juicy meat on the inside. It’s the easiest way to fry chicken as sous vide produces evenly cooked meat, which is then coated with flour and buttermilk and deep fried quickly to golden perfection. Great for a potluck or picnic!
Featured on 36 Best Sous Vide Recipes
Why Sous Vide Fried Chicken
It may seem intimidating to fry chicken at home. The biggest challenge for traditional cooking methods is that the center of the meat could be still undercooked while the outside is already overcooked and the coating is turning dark. Sous vide method is fail-proof and takes the guesswork out, yet produces the perfect chicken that’s better than KFC fried chicken!
Sous vide is a French cooking technique where the food is vacuum-sealed in a bag, and then cooked for a long time to a precise temperature in a warm water bath. So sous vide chicken guarantees perfectly tender and juicy meat before deep frying. Then you will only need to coat the chicken, and let it fry for a few minutes. The best fried chicken EVER!
Ingredients & Substitues
- Chicken Drumsticks: I used skin-on chicken legs. You can also use chicken thighs, wings, or breasts. See recipe notes on how to adjust the cooking time.
- Salt and Pepper: I used regular table salt, but you can use sea salt or Kosher salt. Freshly ground black pepper tastes the best.
- Buttermilk: It helps the coating stick to the chicken. You can sub beaten eggs.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour for this recipe.
- Cornstarch: It helps the chicken brown easily on the outside, making it extra crispy. So don’t skip it!
- Other Seasoning: Paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and dried oregano add delicious flavors to the fried chicken.
- Vegetable oil: Peanut oil or canola oil works best when it comes to deep-frying, as they have a high smoke point.
How to Make Sous Vide Fried Chicken
To make this recipe, sous vide cook the chicken first, then coat with flour and buttermilk, and finish with quick deep-frying.
1. Start by setting the Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 155°F (68°C), and season all sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Place the chicken in a zip-lock bag, vacuum seal the bag using the “water displacement technique”.
3. Cook the chicken in the warm water bath for 2 hours.
4. Once the chicken is cooked, pat dry with paper towels. Then coat it with seasoned flour.
5. Dip in buttermilk and dredge again in the flour mixture.
6. Fry it in hot oil for a few minutes until the crust turns crispy and golden brown. Remove the fried chicken using a slotted spoon. Serve and enjoy!
What Temperature Do You Sous Vide Chicken?
I recommend setting the temperature to 155°F (68°C). You’ll get the perfectly tender and juicy chicken at this temperature. If you’d like to cook it to 165°F to be extra safe, it will still taste great with a slightly firmer texture.
If you notice that there are some pink hues, it’s safe to eat as long as the internal temperature reaches 165°F, according to USDA.
How to Make the Chicken Extra Crispy?
Cornstarch is the secret ingredient for the crispiest fried chicken. Adding some cornstarch to the all-purpose flour will make your chicken extra crispy and crunchy.
Once the chicken is fried, make sure to place it on a cooling rack instead of paper towels.
How to Prevent Breading on the Chicken from Falling off?
First you’ll need to wipe off any moisture when you take the chicken out of the sous vide machine. Then here is a very useful tip to prevent the breading from falling off:
Dredge chicken in flour –> Dip in buttermilk –> Dredge in flour again!
This double dredging process also yields super crispy and crunchy chicken (see the step-by-step photo collage above). Be sure to tap off the excess buttermilk and flour. Then fry a few pieces at a time so that your pot is not overcrowded.
What is the Best Oil to Use for Deep Frying?
It’s best to use vegetable oil such as peanut oil or canola oil when it comes to deep-frying, as it has a high smoke point. Heat the oil to 350˚F (177˚C). The temperature will drop slightly when you add in the coated chicken. Adjust the heat and make sure to keep the temperature between 300-350˚F.
What to Serve with Sous Vide Fried Chicken?
These sous vide fried chicken tastes best when it’s freshly cooked. It can last 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, cook it in the oven at 350˚F for 10 to 15 minutes.
If You Like This Recipe Try Out More Sous Vide Recipes
If you tried this recipe, let me know how your Sous Vide Fried Chicken turns out in the comments below!
Crispy and Tender Sous Vide Fried Chicken Recipe
Sous Vide Chicken
- 12 chicken drumsticks skin on (see notes if you use chicken thighs, wings or breasts*)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Sous Vide Chicken
- Add water to the sous vide container or a large pot, and set the Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 155°F (68°C).
- Season all sides of your chicken with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in a zip-lock bag, vacuum seal it using “water displacement” technique: seal all but one corner of the bag, and slowly place it into a container with water. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag. (If you use a vaccum sealer, seal the bag on the dry setting.)
- Place the bag into the warm water bath in the sous vide container. Make sure it’s fully submerged. (If the top of the chicken is floating above water, you can place a metal kitchen tongs on top to make it completley submerged.)
- Cook for 2 hours if you use chicken drumsticks (If you use other types of chicken, see notes for details*).
Fry the Chicken
- When the chicken is almost ready, start heating up the oil.
- Place a saucepan over medium-high heat and add 2 inches (5cm) of oil. Heat the oil to 350˚F (177˚C).
- Prepare the breading by combining the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- In another medium bowl, add buttermilk.
- Remove the cooked chicken pieces from the zip-lock bag, pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.
- Add each piece to the flour mixture, shake to remove excess, and then dip into the buttermilk, shake off the excess liquid, and add to the flour mixture again. Coat thoroughly and tap off the excess (It’s best to work with one piece at a time).
- Use kitchen tongs to gently lower the breaded chicken into the oil. Fry 3-4 pieces at a time so you won’t crowd the pan. You’ll notice that the temperature will drop slightly, so adjust the heat so that the temperature will stay between 300-350˚F.
- Fry each piece for 3-4 minutes or until golden crispy (Since the inside is already fully cooked, you’ll just need to fry the coating).
- Remove the fried chicken to a cooling rack. Let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Chicken wings: 45 minutes
- Chicken thighs: 1 to 1.5 hours
- Chicken breasts: 1.5 hours
Editor note: Originally published Nov 15, 2019 and updated Jan 19, 2021.