Sous Vide Whole Chicken (Not Poached)

This sous vide whole chicken recipe will be the juiciest, tenderest, and most flavorful chicken you’ll ever make.

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Poultry, Gluten Free
  • Method: Sous Vide
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds)
  • 1 large onion, cut into stripes
  • a few lemons, cut into wedges
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh cilantro for serving (optional)

For the chicken dry rub:

  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Preheat water to 150°F using a sous vide precision cooker (I use Anova sous vide).
  2. Prepare chicken by rinsing under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and set it aside.
  3. Mix the dry rub ingredients on a big plate. Now, prepare a large vacuum bag or a Ziploc bag by folding the top of the bag back over itself to form a hem. This will prevent chicken seasonings from getting on the edges of the bag. Set aside.
  4. Place the chicken on the plate and rub the mixture all over it. Sprinkle the excess dry rub inside the chicken if there’s any left.
  5. Stuff the chicken thorax well with onions and lemons. 
  6. Slide the chicken into the prepared bag. Unfold the edge before closing the bag. Seal the bag using either a vacuum sealer or a hand pump.
  7. Lower your bagged chicken into the preheated water bath, making sure the whole chicken is under the waterline. If using Ziploc bag (double bag) slowly lower your bagged chicken into your water bath, letting the pressure of the water press air out through the top of the bag. Once most of the air is out of the bag, carefully seal the bag just above the waterline. Cook for 6 hours.
  8. Once the chicken is done, remove from the water bath and transfer it onto a plate. Gently pat with paper towels. Preserve the cooking liquid from the bag if you like for serving or for flavorful chicken soup or chicken stock later.
  9. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add olive oil and sear the whole chicken on all sides until the skin is golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. You can also cut up the chicken first before searing. Alternatively, fire up the broiler and broil until the skin is golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Let rest for 10 minutes, discard the onions and lemons, slice, and garnish with cilantro. Serve. 


Keywords: sous vide whole chicken