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sliced chicken breast with citrus glaze on plate
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4.77 from 47 votes

Sous Vide Chicken Breast Recipe (Citrus Glazed)

This tender, juicy citrus glazed sous vide chicken breast recipe is bursting with flavor from a sweet, tangy glaze of maple syrup, orange, lemon and lime. Company worthy.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Sous Vide
Servings (change as needed): 3 (or 2 larger portions)
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (2-3 pieces)
  • seasonings: salt, black pepper, few springs fresh thyme (or dried)
  • optional garnishes: 1-2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds, 1 sliced green onion.

Citrus Glaze

  • 1 large orange (1/2 cup juice and 1-2 teaspoons zest) or 2 medium oranges
  • 1 lime (the juice)
  • 1/4 lemon (the juice)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (honey or brown sugar can be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced/grated garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  • PREPARE SOUS VIDE BATH: Fill water in the sous vide container as per manufacturers instructions (not too high). Set the temperature to 144F (for soft, moist breasts) and allow sous vide water bath to heat to that temperature. Note 1 for other temperatures.
  • PREPARE CHICKEN: Season generously both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and place a few sprigs of thyme on top (or sprinkle lightly with dried thyme). For vacuum seal method: 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 (I do 2 in one bag) in a single layer, ensuring no overlap. Unfold the flap and vacuum seal the bag using a vacuum sealer. Note 2 for water displacement method.
  • COOK CHICKEN SOUS VIDE: When temperature of the water bath has reached 144F, submerge the plastic 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, whisk together all glaze ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to medium heat and continue to cook, about 8-10 minutes until sauce is reduced and slightly thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon).
  • FINISH THE DISH: Remove chicken from bag(s) and pat dry with paper towels. Coat with glaze, reserving 2-3 tablespoons for final drizzle. If you want to brown chicken to enhance presentation, place breasts on a foil-lined pan and broil one side a few inches from top of the oven for about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, do a quick sear in a sauté pan or cast iron pan on one side (without the glaze) with a little oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.)
    Slice on angle if desired on cutting board, transfer to plates, drizzle with remaining glaze, add sesame seeds and green onions if using and serve.

Notes

  1. Choose a different temperature for the doneness according to personal preference: 
    • 140°F (60°C): very soft and juicy chicken breast (may have a slight pink tinge I found - not a safety issue though as the chicken will be fully pasteurized)
    • 150°F (66°C): juicy, tender, and slightly stringy
    • 160°F (71°C): not quite as juicy but firm and stringy (more traditional)
  2. Water displacement method for sealing sous vide bag: Place chicken in ziploc bag. Lower bag into water (which will push air out) just until seal is above water line. Seal bag. 
  3. No sous vide equipment? Cook chicken on the grill, oven or in a pan instead, then add the glaze. 
    • Basics for all 3 methods: season chicken breasts and spray with oil, bring breasts to room temperature, pound with the heel of your hand or bottom of a pot to even out the chicken (no need to go thin), cook to 155F/68C temperature with an instant thermometer and rest the chicken after cooking for 10 minutes. It will rise to 160F/71C. Don't overcook.
      • Oven method: Heat oven to 450F/232C. Bake for about 10-12 minutes.
      • Skillet method: Heat cast iron pan or other skillet to medium high. Heat 2 tsp oil. Place breasts in skillet for 4 minutes. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.
      • Grill method: Oil grates of grill. Heat grill to medium. Cook breasts for 4-6 minutes per side depending on thickness.
  4. For appetizers cut chicken into bite size pieces and serve with toothpicks.
  5. 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 an ice bath to cool it down, then keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. Finish the dish and sauce before serving.
 
Nutrition values are estimates for about 1/3 lb chicken. For a more generous portion (e.g. serving 2 people at 1/2 lb chicken each), values would be higher. 
Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1044mg | Potassium: 803mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg