This eye-catching, juicy maple-citrus glazed sous vide chicken is bursting with flavor from a sweet, tangy glaze of maple syrup, orange, lemon and lime.
The recipe. inspired by 3 others, is really appealing to me because it’s simple, it looks pretty and, most importantly, it’s damn delicious. The sauce has a tartness which I love, but you can always hold back on some of the lime or lemon if you prefer. It cooks down to a golden sticky glaze which makes the chicken – normally bland on its own – zing. The maple syrup is key to the taste I think.
I used a sous vide or “water bath” method to cook the chicken. “Sous vide is a culinary technique in which vacuum-sealed food is immersed in a water bath and cooked at a very precise, consistent temperature. The precise temperature control allows you to cook food to perfection, while the forgiving nature of this cooking method also eliminates concerns about overcooking. (Cedarlane Culinary)”.
The bottom line is a perfectly cooked chicken breast – tender and juicy – every time. As with all sous vide cooking, it’s pretty much stress free as there is no guesswork on ‘doneness’. Love that. The chicken is cooked for 90 minutes (or up to 4 hours if you’re busy with other things) and then finished with the glaze just before serving.
Serve over white rice, quinoa or our Basic Mashed Potatoes to soak up any sauce that drips off the chicken. Also great with Rosated Bok Choy and Broccoli or Easy Creamed Spinach. This chicken can also be cut into bite sized pieces and served with toothpicks as an appetizer.
Tailor to your Taste (and ingredients on hand)
- You can use lemon or lime instead of both. I wouldn’t change the orange juice and zest though.
- The recipe has some heat from chili flakes which you can increase or eliminate as you like. You can also substitute with sriracha or other hot sauce.
- If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, you can cook down the sauce further until it thickens. It will take a little longer and there won’t be as much sauce so keep that in mind. I like lots of sauce!
No sous vide machine? No problem.
- Although I love the sous vide for it’s predictability on achieving tenderness and the exact temperature you set it for, you can also cook your chicken breasts by grilling, baking, poaching or broiling them. Then just continue with the recipe as written.
Make Ahead Sous Vide Chicken
- The chicken can stay in the sous vide bath for up to 4 hours without overcooking. It will be cooked after 1 1/2 hours. You can also plunge the sealed bag with the chicken into ice water to cool it down, then keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. Finish the dish and sauce before serving.
Maple-Citrus Glazed Sous Vide Chicken Recipe
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-3 pieces)
- seasonings: salt, pepper, few springs fresh thyme (or dried)
- optional garnishes: 1 tsp. toasted sesame, 1 chopped or sliced green onion.
Maple Citrus Glaze
- 1 large orange (or 2 small) for 1/2 cup juice and 1-2 teaspoons zest
- juice of 1 lime
- juice of 1/4 small lemon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce (light)
- 1 1/2 tsp minced/grated garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
- 1/8 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- PREPARE SOUS VIDE BATH: Fill water in the sous vide machine as per manufacturers instructions (not too high). Set the temperature to 144F (for soft, moist breasts) and allow water to heat to that temperature.
- PREPARE CHICKEN: Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and place a few sprigs of thyme on top (or sprinkle lightly with dried thyme). Fold back top of sous vide bags about an inch to create a flap (this ensures no food touches the top of the bag where it gets sealed). Insert one or two chicken fillets per bag, ensuring no overlap. Unfold the flap and vacuum seal the bag using a vacuum sealer. Note 1
- COOK CHICKEN SOUS VIDE: When temperature of sous vide machine reaches 144F, submerge the vacuum sealed bags with the chicken into the water. Cover and cook for minimum 90 minutes and a maximum of 4 hours.
- MAKE GLAZE: While chicken is cooking, place all maple-citrus glaze ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, about 8-10 minutes until sauce is reduced and thickened a bit (it should coat the back of a spoon).
- FINISH THE DISH: Remove chicken from bag(s) and pat dry with paper towel. Coat with glaze, reserving 2-3 tablespoons for final drizzle. If you want to brown the chicken to enhance presentation, place breasts on a foil-lined pan and broil one side only a few inches from the top of the oven for about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, saute with a bit of oil over medium high heat for 2 minutes.) Transfer to plates, drizzle with remaining glaze, add sesame seeds and green onions if desired and serve. For appetizers, cut chicken into bite size pieces and serve with toothpicks.
- Alternative to vacuum sealing: Place chicken in ziploc bag. Lower bag into water (which will push air out) just until seal is above water line. Seal bag.
- Make Ahead: The chicken can stay in the sous vide bath for up to 4 hours without overcooking. It will be cooked after 1 1/2 hours. You can also plunge the sealed bag with the chicken into ice water to cool it down, then keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. Finish the dish and sauce before serving.
Here’s a few other sous vide recipes you might like: