Sous Vide: “Air-Fried” Chicken Dark Meat

You don't need an air fryer to achieve air fryer results! More a method than a device, air circulation around an oiled surface is the key!


Chicken–legs, thighs, wings, approximately 2 lbs./1 Kg.
Powdered egg white, 2 Tablespoons or 2 fresh egg whites mixed well with 2 oz/60 ml. water.
Desired seasonings or one of our dedicated recipes linked HERE.
Milk, 0.5 cups/125 ml.
Flour, approximately 1.5 cups/225 g.
Baking powder, 1 Tablespoon.


Equipment requirements

Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Lipavi container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Lipavi racks, or equivalent.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Channel or chamber vacuum device.
Cookie sheet/sheet pan, generic with screen (optional).

Above: Lipavi C15 container, N15 polycarbonate racks. Lipavi C15L-UNIR lid.

Actual prep time: 90 minutes
Serves 2
Level of difficulty 2.5


Preheat your sous vide bath to 135 F/56 CVacuum seal the chicken pieces in single layers in heat rated plastic bags. Sous vide process the packages for 5 hours. 

When the interval has elapsed, shock the packages in iced water until they achieve 70 F/21 C. Refrigerate at 40 F/4 C until day of service. The sealed packages can be safely refrigerated in this state for at least two weeks.


Day of service

Remove the packages from the refrigerator. Dip in hot tap water (110 F/43 C) or an operating bath to melt the gel. Note: the chicken is pasteurized and bacteria free, but maintains the somewhat raw appearance because of the low processing temperature. This method minimizes the loss of moisture. The subsequent finishing process will remove what remains of the pink color.

Stage the chicken into a mixing bowl.

Dust generously with powdered egg white (or fresh if preferred).

Add 2 oz/60 ml water (not necessary if you use fresh egg whites).

Add seasonings as desired. Amounts vary, but 2 teaspoons of kosher salt per lb./450 g is what most chefs prefer. Amounts of other flavorings are entirely up to the practitioner’s preference.

Mix well.

Add 0.5 cups flour and the baking powder.

Mix well to create the battered appearance and consistency. Preheat convection oven or conventional oven to 400 F/200 C. If you opt to use an air fryer, pre-heating is not typically indicated.

Stage about a half cup of flour into a clean bowl and arrange some of the chicken on top.

Sprinkle flour on top.

Arrange more chicken on top. This assures that the chicken will have a dry surface on all sides.

Sprinkle the remaining flour on top of the last layer of chicken. Move the pieces around to make sure they are fully covered with flour.

Arrange the chicken on a screen.

Use vegetable oil spray to coat well. This is an important step to create the desired appearance at service.

Turn the pieces of chicken over.

Spray with oil again. Stage into the oven/air-fryer until the desired appearance is achieved–approximately 40 minutes.




Sous vide has a lot to offer to chicken, regardless of the recipe utilized. Sous vide pasteurization offers an extra layer of safety and shelf life to poultry. If the correct temperatures are used, moisture loss is negligible. The methodology also preserves nutritional content.