How to Sous Vide a Whole Chicken

Souse Vide Chicken

If you are familiar with French cooking, then you have probably heard of the term “sous vide.” If you haven’t, you are going to learn a little bit more about it today.

In French, “sous vide” actually translates to mean “under vacuum.” All it means is placing food in a plastic bag and removing all the air, hence the vacuum part. It is then cooked at a low temperature inside a water bath. The whole point of this cooking method is to ensure tenderness, moisture, and even cooking. Even though it can take hours and sometimes days, the end result is worth the wait.

Everyone has their own tips and tricks when it comes to the “sous vide” cooking method, and I will share with you my favorite way. This particular recipe is for a whole chicken. As long as you have the necessary tools, the process is a breeze and requires minimum intervention. Let’s dive in!

Souse Vide Chicken

How to Sous Vide Whole Chicken

Nicola Turner
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 15 mins
Course dinner
Cuisine French


  • vacuum sealer
  • sealer bags
  • sous vide machine/precision cooker
  • cast iron skillet


For the Dry Rub

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage

For the Sous Vide Bag

  • 1 whole chicken About 5 lbs
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 lemons cut into wedges
  • 1 celery stalk cut in half
  • 2 carrots cut in half


  • Pat the chicken dry
  • Mix together the dry rub spices ands then generiously cover the chicken
  • Stuff the chicken cavity with the onions, lemons, celery, and carrots
  • Place in the plastic bag and vacuum seal
  • Lower the bag into the preheated water bath
  • Cook for 4 hours
  • Once cooked, heat the cast iron skillet to medium high heat
  • Add olive oil and then the chicken, breast side down
  • Sear until browned, about 5 minutes and then flip and do the same to the other side
  • Allow 10-15 minutes for the chicken to rest and then serve


  1. It is important to follow the instructions that come with your precision cooker. Alternatively, you may use a slow cooker, but you won’t get the same result. Make sure the water is heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 70 degrees celsius before adding the bag with the chicken.
  2. A vacuum-sealed bag is going to infuse more flavor and moisture into the chicken, but you can also use a Ziploc bag.
  3. You can reserve the juices and aromatics left behind to make flavorful chicken stock. The chicken stock can be kept in your refrigerator for a few days.
  4. You can essentially use any seasonings you like. You can swap the sage and rosemary for basil and oregano for more Italian flavors, or add cayenne for heat for a fun twist.
Keyword Chicken, sous vide, whole chicken

Common Questions

How long does it take to Sous Vide a whole chicken?

Allow 4 hours of cooking for a whole chicken – more if it is larger and always check cooked thoroughly before serving.

What are the benefits of Sous Vide?

The meat will always retain more nutrients and be juicier than traditional cooking as there is nowhere for the liquids to go other than back into the meat.

Why is my Sous Vide Chicken a weird color?

The chicken looks strange because we usually see brown skin on the chicken during the cooking process as it dries out. However. because the Sous Vide chicken will remain moist the skin will be light, this is why we finish it off on a skillet.

What’s the perfect temperature for Sous Vide whole chicken?

70 degrees Celcius or 150 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for a whole chicken in the Sous Vide

Nicola Turner

Attempting a more self-sufficient life abroad and bringing you the recipes and tips to follow along

Recent Posts