Chicken thighs are a favorite part for many who enjoy some fat with their meat. Similarly to other parts of chicken, when prepared sous vide style chicken thighs produce a juicy, tender and uniformly cooked piece of meat when done right. However, when done wrong, sous vide chicken thighs may turn out dry, tough, stringy and overcooked.
Unlike white meat, chicken thighs are cooked at a higher temperature since it is dark meat. Also, the amount of fat and collagens in it require more heat to break down. Typically, leaner parts of chicken such as the breast are cooked at 141º for 1-4 hours. Chicken thighs on the other hand, are cooked longer (2-5 hours) and at a higher temperature of 147º.
The higher temperature and longer cooking time provides enough heat for collagens in the thighs to break down making the meat soft. The same process of breaking down the collagens in the chicken meat is responsible for producing a juicy and tasty thigh.
Chicken thighs sous vide style is an excellent way to prep the meat for frying, grilling and roasting. Often, much loved dishes such as fried chicken or barbeque ends up drying out chicken thighs before it is thoroughly cooked. Sous vide eliminates this problem, ensuring each piece is properly cooked and while still being tender and juicy. This technique may also be used for stewing chicken thighs and many more.
Using sous vide to cook the BBQ chicken thighs results in very tender meat. This sous vide recipe also focuses on adding the requisite smokiness you need for great BBQ chicken by grilling them at the end with BBQ sauce.
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