How to make Sous Vide Chicken in a Home Kitchen – and Massaman Curry Recipe

Massaman curry

Sous Vide Chicken in Massaman Curry

I have always been curious about those sous vide machines, but alas – they are pricey.

Then, I saw a chicken salad recipe in Cook’s Illustrated that used a home version of sous vide – with no fancy equipment at all. Their method is interesting- they just put the chicken right into water, so it is a mild poaching.

I modified their method to keep the chicken in zip top bags, thus keeping the flavor in the chicken and not leaching out into the water.

This method is super easy and quick and results in moist, tender, flavorful chicken. Perfect for my first ever try at Massaman Curry at Home! I followed the lead of the Starving Chef and was not disappointed – but, of course, tweaked a bit.. Massaman is my favorite Thai curry – and I am thrilled to say this beats any restaurant version I have had!

Here are easy instructions and step-by-step Sous Vide photos (AND a bonus Massaman Recipe!):

— posted by Donna

The first step is to test a pan with water on your stove. Fill it halfway and then adjust the heat dial on your stove as necessary to reach exactly 170 degrees. Chicken needs to be at 165 to 170 degrees cooked all the way through. The water should be steaming, but NOT bubbling or simmering. On my stove, the perfect setting is at “3” out of 8. You will need to experiment to see what setting to use on your stove. Don’t stress – you only have to do this step one time – then you will know what heat setting to use for the future.

STEP 1: Cut chicken pieces into uniform size and thickness  about 1 inch and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and any other spices that fit your dish. Place chicken pieces in a single layer in a zip top bag and close. (Note: a quart sized bag will hold one large chicken breast cut into pieces.)Sous vide chicken 1

STEP 2: Fill a large pot about halfway with water and heat on stove top to 170 degrees.

Sous Vide Chicken 2

STEP 3: Place bagged chicken in pot.

Sous Vide Chicken 3

STEP 4: Cover pot and return to heat on stove. The chicken will take about 20 minutes to cook all the way through. Check doneness at 20 minutes by using a thermometer – heat to 165 degrees – or by cutting with a knife and peeking to see if chicken is cooked through the center.

Sous vide 4

STEP 5: Pull chicken out after 20 minutes and check doneness as described above. Use tongs and NOT a fork that might pierce the bag, in case you have to return the chicken to the water.

Sous Vide 6

That’s it – perfect moist, flavorful sous vide chicken at home!

And now for the amazing Massaman sauce to stir your sous vide chicken into:


1 serrano chile, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
4 -5 inches of a lemon grass stalk, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)

Pulse the chile, garlic, shallots, lemon grass in a food processor until very fine.

Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add oil to skillet and stir in cumin, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add in food processor mixture. Cook, stirring, until all veggies are very soft.

Add in all remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes, adjusting seasonings as desired.


  1. Lisa says

    Do you have the amount of potatoes and cashew that you use. I did not see that in recipe. Thank you, it looks delicious!

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