Today, we put a sous vide twist on a classic mexican-style chicken, pollo asado. This recipe uses a marinade of citrus juices and a blend of herbs and spices. This dish is already crave-worthy due to its smoky, tangy, and spicy flavor profile. But we decided to kick it up a notch by using chicken thighs, which are incredibly tender cooked sous vide.
Serve this dish up with some tortillas, corn, and fresh pico de gallo 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 in for 1.5 hours results in a juicy bird that Thomas Keller would be proud of. Also, 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.
Sous Vide Pollo Asado
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Set sous vide machine to 74C/165F.
In a bowl, mix together orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of cumin and salt and pepper.
Place chicken in freezer bag with the marinade. 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, pat dry, re-season with 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Set the bag containing the liquids to the side.
Turn grill on high and let the grill heat up for 5 minutes. Place chicken on grill, skin side down, brush the thighs with the marinade from the bag and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken over, brush the thighs with the marinade and grill for 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove chicken from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut the chicken thighs in to bite size pieces for tacos or burritos, or enjoy as is!
Alternative instruction - If you do not have a grill, you can also finish the chicken on a pan. Heat medium-size pan on high and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, brushing the thighs with the marinade while they cook. Remove from pan, let rest for 5 minutes, and enjoy!