Sous Vide Whole Chicken

I have recently purchased an Anova Nano and so far have had great results. I followed a recipe on the Anova app for a whole chicken at 65 deg C for 6 hours and whilst the breast was perfect the thighs were under cooked.I realize temps for breast and thighs are different but how to get them both tender and my question. Chicken weighed 1.6kg.

When you say they were ‘underdone’ just what do you mean?

The thing is, by doing a whole chicken you are compromising on either breast or thigh (at least for most people’s taste.) I actually do all of my chicken at 60C until pastuerised, but this level of doneness does not suit everyone.

The thighs were not cooked enough and in fact were still quite pink. I ended up cutting them off and finishing on the BBQ
I also trussed the chicken as per the Anova recipe and maybe this also made a difference.I have done whole chicken breasts at 65 deg and for my taste they were perfect.

OK. Firstly, the pinkness in the thighs isn’t a problem if your chicken has been cooked long enough to pasteurise it. Colour is not an indicator of doneness. There are many things that can impact that. The only true indicator of doneness is internal temperature. Chicken cooked sous vide has a tendency to be more pink than that cooked to the same internal temperature by traditional means.

If you’re cooking a whole chicken, the best suggestion is to spatchcock it so that there is no air void in the middle causing problems with heat transmission.

Really, the best advise on cooking chicken is to be found in Douglas Baldwin’s Practical Guide to Sous Vide.

Thanks Ember for your response and I will take your advice and spatchcock the next chicken.

I do a 1.7kg chicken for 6 hours at 66°C, comes out nice and tender, the thighs are a little pink but are cooked. The breast meat is tender and succulent, so much nicer than roasted.

I don’t spatchcock the bird, but I do put some pressure on the top of it while my vacuum sealer is sucking out the air, this makes the cavity smaller and does enough to have the chicken not floating when I put it in the water.