Shredded chicken has always been a staple in my home. It is so versatile, lending itself to a variety of dishes. Chicken noodle soup, bbq chicken sandwiches, Chinese chicken salad, the list goes on and on.
In this recipe we utilize the sous vide for an ultra easy, delicious way to make shredded chicken. Cooking the chicken breast sous vide takes away all the guess work. You will have tender, juicy shredded chicken for all your needs, every single time.
Time and Temperature
We’ve found that cooking chicken breasts at 65.5C/150F for 1 hour is the perfect combo. Leaving the chicken in for 1 hour results in a juicy bird that Thomas Keller would be proud of. Also, cooking the chicken at a temperature of 150F ensures the meat is tender and easily shreddable. 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 Shredded Chicken Breast
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
Set sous vide machine to 65.5C/150F.
Season chicken breasts with salt to taste. Place chicken in freezer bag with olive oil and thyme, and remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop the bag in the bath for an hour.
Remove bag from bath. Take chicken out of the bag, pat dry and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat up large skillet on medium high and add oil. Sear chicken breasts for 60 seconds on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan, and place on a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Once rested, shred chicken with fork. Use this delicious, juicy shredded chicken in a bbq sandwich, chicken noodle soup or anything else. Enjoy!