Fried chicken is one of my favorite dishes of all time, ever! It seems like a simple southern dish, but it can be pretty tough to time the perfectly crispy outside with having thoroughly cooked inside. This is just one more reason to love my Sous Vide Supreme – this recipe for Sous Vide Fried Chicken. As discussed in my Sous Vide Flank Steak recipe, Sous Vide style of cooking includes a water bath being set to a precise temperature, usually the temperature that is desired for the internal temperature of what is being cooked. For a medium rare steak, that temperature is somewhere between 130-135 degrees. Since the safe internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees, always set the water temperature to at least 165 degrees when cooking chicken. This way, the chicken is completely cooked before getting a quick, high temperature frying.
The rest of the recipe is fairly traditional for fried chicken. Prepare the brine as discussed below, which will season the chicken and lock in the juices. Add ingredients to water and bring to a boil, letting simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and pour entire brine mixture over a whole, cut-up chicken. Return to refrigerator and let sit at least 8 hours to really get that chicken juicy and flavorful!
1 gallon water
Large shallot, cut into slices
2 cloves garlic, smashed with knife
1 cup kosher salt
Boil all together. Let cool, and pour over chicken for at least 8 hours, up to 2 days.
After removing from brine mixture, rinse chicken and transfer to a Sous Vide bag and zip, carefully removing as much air as possible. Usually I use a vacuum sealer, but the sharp chicken bones would likely puncture the bag if that much pressure was applied, so I just use a zipper bag. Immerse at 165 degrees for approximately 2 hours.
Now that the chicken is cooked, if can be breaded and fried at a higher heat, which will give it a perfectly crispy crust in about 8 minutes, without having to worry that the inside won’t be cooked properly. I like a little kick to my fried chicken, so I put a few dashes of hot sauce in with the buttermilk and cayenne pepper and lots of black pepper into the breading mixture. It’s not an overly spicy recipe, but feel free to adjust to your taste!
1 pint buttermilk
Few dashes hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
3 cups flour
1 tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt. More to taste after frying (the brine is fairly salty)
Fry in 375 degree oil for 3-4 minutes a side until golden. Place on a wire rack to drain excess oil after frying.