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Problem with searing chicken skins after cooking sous vide


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I don't know if you noticed this, but here what I found.


I cooked 2 boneless chicken thighs and drum sticks using sous vide, so in total 4 pieces.


I added a tablespoon of duck fat and 3 pieces of thinly smoked bacon in the vacuum bag.


Then sous vide at 65C for 1 hour 30 minutes.


I left the bag in the refrigerator for 1 day because I didn't have time to complete the cooking.


Yesterday, I opened the bag, and drained the juices/liquid from the bag. I didn't rinse them under water.


I heated a frying pan and add about 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.


I waited until it's almost smoked, then reduce a bit the heat to medium-high.


Put the chicken skin side down and wait few minutes. My intention is to crisp the skins.


What I found, the skins were sort of glued to the pan!


I was really sure the heat was hot enough and there were enough oil. 


And I have been searing chicken like this for years, nothing sticky like this.


But, this was the first time I sous vide them before searing.


Did you notice this?


Do you think this is caused by the sous vide which change the structure of the skin and causing this sticky thing?


Or duck fat?


Or bacon ... fat?


Because, I have never came across so sticky like this before.


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I'm guessing it's just because the humid environment in the s.v. bag completely saturated the skin with water. You might have better luck if you dry the skin side with a paper towel as well as you can after unbagging. If you still have problems, you could try dusting lightly with wondra flour immediately before putting in the pan.


Even so, you can expect the proteins to glue themselves to the pan temporarily. If everything else is done right, they should unglue themselves as soon as the maillard reactions reach a certain point ... so resist the temptation to pry anything off the pan unless you're sure something's overcooking.


I've been buying skinless thighs, so haven't had a chance to play with s.v. chicken skin specifically.

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Notes from the underbelly

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I recently did a turkey porchetta sv and then dried the surface with paper towels and popped it right into 1/4 inch of oil. There was a little sticking but not much. The fact that the skin was lashed to the turkey with twine doubtless helped the situation.

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Thanks for all the feedback. I think some of you are right, the skin should be much softer after sous vide and too much saturated with liquid, which is more than raw chicken.


I should have pat the skin really really dry and also leave it in open air for some minutes or so. 


And of course, wait till the maillard reaction enough occurred  before flipping it.


Never thought about adding some flour to the skin, but it's another good suggestion.


Well, there is still another day with sous vide and chicken! :)

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