A sous vide twist on a timeless classic, chicken piccata. In this recipe, we wanted to focus on making two things great – the sauce and the chicken. We kept the sauce simple with only fresh ingredients. However, the flavors of the sauce emulsify in the sous vide to create a heavenly, tangy sauce.
For the chicken, the typical chicken piccata recipe calls for flattened chicken breasts. But where is the juiciness in that?! We decided to shake things up and go with chicken thighs, which are incredibly tender done sous vide.
Combine great, great sauce and juicy chicken thighs together, and you’ve got our take on chicken piccata. Serve this dish up with some rice and you are bound to impress your guests.
Time and Temperature
Through some R&D, we’ve found that cooking chicken thighs at 74C/165F for 1.5 hours is the perfect combo. Leaving the chicken thighs in for 1.5 hours results in a tender, juicy bird that Thomas Keller would be proud of. Furthermore, cooking them at a temperature of 165F ensures that the chicken is fully cooked to the bone. Just make sure you have a reliable sous vide that accurately regulates the temperature of the bath or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule). For other time and temperature options, check out our cooking guide here.
Sous Vide Machine – This one is obvious. To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule. The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for 72 hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Chicken Piccata Sous Vide Style
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
- 1/4 cup fresh italian parlsey, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Set sous vide machine to 74C/165F.
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken in freezer bag with chicken stock, 2 Tbsp of butter, fresh lemon juice and rinsed capers. Remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop the bag in the bath for an hour and a half.
Remove bag from bath. Take chicken out of the bag and pat dry. Set the bag containing the liquids to the side for the sauce.
Heat up large skillet on medium high. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of butter. When the butter and oil begin the sizzle, add in chicken thighs skin-side down for 1 minute, or until browned. Flip and cook other side for 1 minute. Remove chicken thighs from skillet, and place on plate to rest.
Add the liquids from the bag in to the skillet. Bring liquid to a simmer, and cook for 2 minutes. Return chicken back to the pan for 1 minute, and baste the chicken with the sauce. Remove skillet from heat, garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!