A Sous Vide Diary: Chicken Breast in Miso Butter Sauce

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

This post continues my diary on my experiments with Sous Vide (SV) cooking at home.

A piece of chicken breast does seem easy to cook. It is easy to debone and it looks like it is made for the pan due to the neat shape of the fillet. It cooks faster than thigh meat.

However, many prefer thigh as breast meat can be 'dry'. It can be difficult to get it "just right": tender, moist, flavorful and not over-cooking it. If a piece of chicken can retain its juice, the flavour is better.

Vacuum-packed boneless chicken breast

This is where Sous Vide can help. Vacuum-pack it and put it in a water bath for 25 minutes at 63°C. And like some of my family members will say, it is the best chicken breast they have ever eaten.

Let me get down to the recipe. I will first describe the methods and then lay out a summarised verison of the recipe in table form.

Purchase a good quality chicken boneless breast meat, skin-on. Some at supermarkets or specialty stores like Hubers will vacuum pack for you. Some will even add a few sprigs of fresh thyme if you ask.

Now, you can also vacuum pack it at home with the meat you purchased from the wet market. One advantage of vacuum packing it yourself is that you can add stuffing and other flavours to the meat.   

Next, prepare your SV set up. As always, with whatever SV gadget you are using, it is  faster if you start with heated water. I use the hot water off my tap and heat the water in the rice cooker till it nearly reaches the temp I want. Then I put in the packs. For chicken breast, I want to cook it at 63ºC for 25 minutes.

Miso Butter Sauce
After it is cooked, you would have noticed immediately that there is minimum moisture lost. Cut the pack and dry pat the meat. Then sear it on your pan on low-medium flame with some oil. 1-2 minutes per side will do. The already cooked skin will crisp up nicely.  

Slice and serve. There are many ways to serve this glorious piece of white meat. I like to use Miso Butter Sauce. It is convenient to make and I have a bottle of White Miso (light yellow in colour, not brown) which needs using and of course butter is always around. Mix the miso and non-salted butter in a 1:4 proportion. Your butter need to be at room temperature (soft but not melted). Add the Miso and mix/stir till you get a smooth emulsion. Taste your mix and balance till it reaches the taste you want. Heat it in a pot gently and add some wine or mirin. Continue stirring for about 3-4 minutes, be careful not to boil the mixture so that the texture remain smooth and creamy. You can store the Miso Butter sauce for a long time in the fridge. So, make a larger batch.It can be used for roasted asparagus, on your perfect egg and more.

Mashed potato (pomme purée!) and lightly pan-seared asparagus goes well with the meat and sauce. Add some black pepper. Dashes of truffle -flavored oil if you like. You can imagine that there are many ways to finish the recipe and it really comes down to what you like your chicken with.

The meat is tender, moist and succulent. The skin is crisp. And your opinion on eating chicken breast just got a bit better. In fact, my children would normally go for the thigh or red meat. But they love white meat cooked this way. 

Chicken Breast in Miso Butter Sauce Recipe

The recipe in pdf format is downlodable here
Serves 4-6 pax
chicken breast (boneless, skin-on )

4 pieces

A few sprigs

  1. Vacuum pack the chicken breast with a sprig of thyme and some olive oil.
2.    Cook in your Sous Vide appliance at 63°C for 25 minutes
thin asparagus
About 200g
  1. Trim the ends of the asparagus.
  2. Boil the potatoes for 30 minutes. Mash them and stir in some milk till it is smooth to your liking.
2 teaspoon
8 teaspoons
  1. Mix the miso and butter (soft at room temperature)

            Pan frying:
  1. Remove chicken breast from the pack and pan sear for 1-2 minutes on each side
  2. At the same time, pan sear the asparagus for about 2-3 minutes
            To plate and assemble:
  1. Spoon some mashed potatoes on the plate and spread it out
  2. Put the pan seared asparagus on top
  3. Slice the chicken and add them to the plate.
  4. Drizzle some Miso Butter Sauce, sprinkle some black pepper and serve immediately.

You Might Also Like


  1. i asked you the same question in your post about eggs, but for most of your recipes, are the ingredients placed in the bath from the fridge, or at room temperature? thanks!

  2. For chicken best to have them near room temp.

  3. Hi,
    Can I use ziploc bags instead of vacuum packing?