Sous Vide: Smokey Roast Chicken

Sous vide racks help us keep our processing containers organized and efficient, but these racks are oven/smoker proof as well!


Chicken, 1 drumstick, 1 thigh, 1 breast, 1 wing.
Salt, 1 teaspoon/lb/4 g.

Liquid smoke, 2 Tablespoons (optional)


Paprika, 1 Tablespoon.
Ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon.
Sugar, 1 teaspoon.
Garlic powder, 1 teaspoon.
Onion powder, 1 teaspoon.
Oregano, 1 teaspoon.
Fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon.
Parsley, dried, 2 Tablespoons.

Equipment requirements

Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags or Ziploc freezer bags (Foodsaver, etc.)
Channel or chamber vacuum device–unnecessary if you use Ziploc freezer bags.
Standard home stove oven or outdoor smoker.


Serves 1-2
Level of difficulty–1.5


Stage the chicken segments individually or in single layers into dedicated vacuum bags. There is no need to separate white meat from dark meat. If you want to use self sealing plastic bags, remove the air from the bag using the water displacement method.

Sous vide processing temperature settings can be adjusted to accommodate specific time requirements. People who plan to spend the day in the kitchen usually prefer shorter processing intervals. People who work outside the home benefit from intervals that allow them to start the process in the morning. They can then return in the evening to add the finishing touches. To accomplish this, sous vide gives us temporal choices for processing chicken.

Sous vide process the chicken at

135 F/57 C for a minimum of 4 hours to achieve pasteurization. The chicken can be left in the bath for up to 10 hours, as per your convenience and/or scheduling needs. Sous vide temperatures are so low that the chicken cannot actually overcook, even if left in the bath for an extended period.

Combine all the ingredients in the rub. Set aside.

After processing, submerge the packages in iced tap water for fifteen minutes so that they can achieve 70 F/21 C or below–the closer you can get the temperature to 40 F/4 C, the better your results will be. This prevents the chicken from exceeding the original target temperature and/or drying out during the subsequent roasting process. Held in this state, the sealed packages can be safely refrigerated for up to two weeks.


Remove the chicken from the bags and pat dry. Place the chicken in a 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag, add the liquid smoke if desired, and the entire amount of the rub. Toss the ingredients in the rub, back and forth until it is evenly coated. It is not necessary to seal the bag, just remember not to actually “turn it over.”

Preheat the oven (or smoker) to 400 F/204 C.

Remove the chicken from the bag and rearrange in the rack. Put the rack on a sheet pan and roast the chicken for 40 minutes, or until desired color is achieved.

Remove the rack of chicken from the oven using mitts and allow to cool for five minutes.

Remove the inner grids from the rack, and cut the thigh into two pieces and the breast into three pieces.

Arrange the chicken as desired and garnish with cherry tomatoes, sprigs of thyme and sage leaves, chopped parsley.

Also shown: deep fried parsnip peels, plantain and tempura dusted potatoes–Here is the link to the recipes/methods for these non-sous vide items.

There are thousands of methods for broiled/grilled/smoked/roasted chicken, and this is but one–there are even more on this very site! Enjoy!

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Norm King


Chicken does not have to be incendiary or even especially spicy in order to evoke that back yard sensibility that goes so well with beer and even iced tea! Chicken is one of the most greatly benefited sous vide items because sous vide guarantees not only safety but retention of moisture!

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