Sous Vide Whole Chicken is one of the most delicious recipes for a whole chicken – tender, juicy, and perfectly “roasted” rotisserie-style chicken (not poached) in your sous vide water bath! It’s gluten-free, paleo, and whole 30.
Looking for more sous vide chicken recipes? Check out Sous Vide Chicken Breasts, Sous Vide Chicken Wings, Sous Vide Chicken Thighs, and Sous Vide Drumsticks. And be sure to check out more Sous Vide Recipes.
Our recipe for sous vide whole chicken is a great alternative to oven roasting your bird. Plus, you can cook it fresh or frozen, and the sous vide method guarantees success EVERY TIME!
Cooking a whole chicken with a sous vide cooker results in the most flavorful, tender, and juicy chicken you will ever have. Each bite of chicken is oozing with juiciness – heavenly delicious!
Sous vide cooking allows you to control the temperature precisely without worrying about overcooking or undercooking the meat. So it eliminates short windows of time for perfect doneness, and your chicken will be evenly cooked edge to edge. It’s totally a game changer!
Sous Vide Whole Chicken that’s Not Poached
Most sous vide whole chicken recipes are poached chicken, as it’s almost impossible to suck the air out of the thorax. Therefore adding liquid into the bag is required to heat up the whole chicken properly, but it also dilutes the flavor.
My version solves this problem by stuffing the thorax with vegetables and herbs, which helps to transfer the heat to the chicken. Note that you’ll need to add as many veggies as possible so that there’s little air left inside.
What You’ll Need to Make this Recipe
- Whole Chicken: Choose the right size for this recipe. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer and have to use a zip-loc bag, you’ll need to buy a smaller chicken that can fit into the bag.
- Garlic Powder: It adds complexity and deep rich flavor to this dish.
- Paprika: It adds a beautiful color and sweet peppery flavor to the dish. I used regular paprika, which has bright vibrant color. You can also use smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: I used coarse salt, but you can use regular table salt or sea salt. Freshly ground black pepper works the best.
- Onions, Lemons and Garlic: You’ll need to stuff the thorax with vegetables so that the chicken can get cooked properly.
- Olive Oil: It helps the chicken to crisp in the oven after sous vide cooking.
- Optional Herbs: Fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme add extra flavors.
How to Make Sous Vide Whole Chicken
1. Preheat the sous vide machine.
2. Stuff the chicken with onions, lemons, garlic and optional herbs.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper until combined.
4. Then rub HALF of the seasoning evenly over the chicken.
5. Place the seasoned chicken in a bag and vacuum seal the seasoned whole chicken. If you use a zip-loc bag, you’ll need to seal all but one corner of the bag, and slowly place it in the water bath. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
6. Leave the bag in the sous vide water bath and cook for 6 hours. (Make sure the chicken is fully submerged while the seams of the bag are above water. You can add heavy kitchen items to weigh the bag down if necessary.)
7. Cover the pot with aluminum foil.
8. When the timer goes off, remove the chicken from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. (Be very gentle and not to break the skin.)
9. Rub the chicken with oil and sprinkle the rest of the seasoning over the cooked chicken.
10. Place the chicken onto a baking dish and bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes until the skin is brown and crispy.
Tips for Cooking a Whole Chicken Sous Vide
- Make sure your chicken fits into the bag. Whether you are using a vacuum sealer or “water displacement” method with a regular zip-loc bag, you’ll need to double-check before you start cooking.
- You don’t need to rinse the chicken as it can spread potentially harmful bacteria in your sink, but you can pat it dry with a paper towel.
- If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can place the seasoned chicken into a zip-lock bag, and vacuum seal the bag using the water displacement technique: just seal all but one corner of the bag, and then slowly place it into a large pot of water. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water, then seal the rest of the bag.
- If you’d like to use the chicken stock (the juice coming out during sous vide cooking), you can skip the step of rubbing the seasoning before sous vide.
Ways to Use Sous Vide Whole Chicken
What Temperature Do You Sous Vide Whole Chicken?
I have tested out different temperatures, and 150°F (66°C) is my favorite temp to sous vide whole chicken. Just be aware that there will be some pink hues around the bones, but it’s safe to eat. If you’d like your chicken to have the traditional texture with less pink hues, you can cook them around 165°F.
How Long to Sous Vide a Whole Chicken?
A whole chicken needs to be cooked much longer than chicken breasts or chicken thighs. It takes about 6 hours to cook, but it’s ok to leave them in the sous vide warm water bath for an extra hour or two. The chicken is completely cooked after sous vide, and it’s optional to bake it in the oven for another 20 minutes which will make the skin crispy.
How to Sous Vide Frozen Whole Chicken?
One of the great things about this recipe is that you can cook the whole chicken from frozen directly. The instructions and cooking time are the same as a fresh whole chicken.
How to Store Leftover Sous Vide Chicken?
Store leftover sous vide chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it can last 3-4 days. They’re great for meal prep. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Easy Sous Vide Whole Chicken Recipe
- 1 whole chicken (fresh or frozen*)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika (or smoked paprika)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- optional herbs like rosemary and thyme
- Preheat the sous vide machine. Fill a large container or pot with water. Attach the sous vide precision cooker and set the temperature to 155°F (66°C).
- Stuff the chicken with onions, lemons, garlic and optional herbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk together paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper until combined.
- Then rub half of the seasoning evenly over the chicken.
- Place the seasoned chicken in a bag. Vacuum seal using a vacuum sealer or a zip-loc bag.. If you use a zip-loc bag, you’ll need to seal all but one corner of the bag, and slowly place it in the water bath. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
- Keep the bag in the sous vide water bath and cook for 6 hours. (Make sure the chicken is fully submerged while the seams of the bag are above water. You can add heavy kitchen items to weigh the bag down if necessary.)
- Cover the pot with aluminum foil. Check from time to time, and add more water if needed.
- When the timer goes off, remove the chicken from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. (Be very gentle and not to break the skin.)
- Rub the chicken with oil and sprinkle the rest of the seasoning over the cooked chicken.
- Place the chicken onto a baking dish and bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes until the skin is brown and crispy. Serve and enjoy!