This is an Asian twist on buffalo chicken—sweet, spicy, garlicky, and buttery. Best of all, the dish makes its own sauce: the kicky sriracha marinade combined with the gelatin-rich meat juices that collect in the bag while the chicken is cooking become the basis for a quick pan sauce. All you need to do is sear the chicken in a hot skillet just before serving. It’s fantastic spooned over rice or couscous, with lime wedges on the side.
- Yields: 4 Servings
- Total: 1 hour
- Active: 10 minutes
- 4 skin-on, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
- Juice of ½ lime (about 1 tablespoon fresh juice)
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 lime wedges, for serving
Do-Ahead Strategy: The cooked chicken can be chilled in the bag in an ice water bath (see page 14) for 30 minutes and then refrigerated for up to 1 hour. Reheat in a 60°C (140°F) water bath for 20 minutes.
- Preheat your sous vide water bath to 60°C (140°F).
- Place the chicken breasts in a gallon-size freezer-safe ziplock bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, sriracha, and the lime juice until well blended. Pour the mixture into the bag and give the bag a good shake to ensure that the chicken is coated evenly, then arrange the chicken so that it sits in a single layer. Add 3 tablespoons of the cubed butter and then seal the bag using the water displacement method (see page 12).
- When the water reaches the target temperature, lower the bagged chicken into the water bath (making sure the bag is fully submerged) and cook for 1 hour.
- Remove the bag from the water bath and transfer the chicken to a plate, making sure to reserve the cooking liquid (you can pour it into a small bowl). Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with the salt and pepper.
- Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. When the butter melts, swirl it until the foam has subsided. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook until the skin is deeply browned and crisped, about 3 minutes. The sugar in the marinade will make the chicken brown quickly, so keep an eye on it. Once the skin has browned, using tongs, flip the chicken over and cook for 30 seconds longer, then transfer the breasts to a cutting board.
- To make the sauce, raise the heat to high and add the reserved cooking liquid. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan and then remove from the heat.
- To serve, slice the chicken breasts against the grain and arrange on a serving plate. Pour the sauce over the top and garnish with the lime wedges.
Pro-tip: If you can’t find skin-on, boneless chicken breasts, ask your butcher to bone some for you. In a pinch, you can substitute boneless, skinless breasts, but the crispiness and general deliciousness of the skin really makes this dish.