We Tried Trader Joe’s Sous Vide Chicken Thighs and We Think You’ll Like Them

Trader Joe's Sous Vide Chicken Thighs
Trader Joe’s Sous Vide Chicken Thighs

Imagine if you could skip hours in the kitchen and still enjoy a gourmet meal that tastes like it came straight from a professional chef’s kitchen. That’s exactly what Trader Joe’s is trying to promise with their Sous Vide Chicken Thighs. Whether you’re a busy student with a tight schedule or just someone who wants a delicious dinner without the fuss, these pre-cooked chicken thighs might just be your new favorite shortcut. Let’s dive into why these chicken delights are creating such a buzz and whether they truly deliver on flavor and convenience.

What is Sous Vide?

Sous vide is a French cooking technique that translates to “under vacuum.” With this method, food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch or glass jar and then cooked at a precisely controlled temperature in a water bath. Unlike traditional cooking methods where the temperature can vary, sous vide allows for an even, consistent heat that cooks food uniformly throughout. This technique is special because it eliminates guesswork and greatly reduces the risk of overcooking, ensuring that meats are perfectly tender, vegetables retain their vibrant color and nutrients, and flavors are more intense. The sous vide method is revered by chefs for its ability to achieve textures and flavors that are difficult to replicate with other cooking techniques.

It’s used a lot in restaurants because it can deliver precisely cooked meats over a broad range of times so when there is a dinner rush, you can pull these bags of perfectly cooked meat and serve. I’ve sous vide many times and cooking meat this way is different and interesting. The meat sometimes has a raw texture that can be off putting but finishing it up in a pan or on the grill can make it very good.

But why do people really want to use this method?

Trader Joe's Sous Vide Chicken in the bag
Trader Joe’s Sous Vide Chicken in the bag

Texture and Taste: First off, these chicken thighs are impossibly tender—think “fall-off-the-fork” tender! Each bite is juicy and evenly cooked thanks to the sous vide cooking method. The seasoning is subtle yet savory, making these thighs versatile enough to be used in almost any meal at a moment’s notice with little effort.

Convenience: Talk about a time-saver! These pre-cooked marvels are ready after a quick sauté in the pan or a few minutes in the oven. For those evenings when the thought of cooking from scratch feels like climbing Mount Everest in flip-flops, these chicken thighs come to the rescue.

Value: While the price point is slightly higher than uncooked chicken, the convenience and quality you get are well worth the extra pennies. Think of it as a small investment for big returns on flavor and ease.

Packaging: Neat and practical, the packaging ensures the chicken remains fresh. It’s not too bulky, and the instructions are clear as day, which is great for cooking novices.

Preparation: Just a couple of minutes in a skillet or in the microwave and you have these wonderfully tender pieces of chicken that you season to suit your needs. Tacos! Chili! Salad! in a minute.

Versatility: This is where the chicken thighs truly shine. You can incorporate them into a myriad of dishes. Here are five ways I have thought off the top of my head you can use them including my recent White Chicken Chili recipe I recently published:

  1. Chicken Caesar Wrap: Chop the chicken and toss it in a whole wheat wrap with romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for a lunch that beats any deli fare.
  2. Thai Chicken Salad: Slice the chicken and lay it atop a bed of mixed greens, shredded carrots, cucumbers, and a zesty Thai peanut dressing for a crunchy and refreshing dinner.
  3. Classic Chicken and Rice: Heat the chicken alongside a steamy bowl of jasmine rice and sautéed veggies for a comforting meal that feels like a warm hug.
  4. BBQ Chicken Pizza: Cube the chicken and spread it over your favorite pizza dough, add some barbecue sauce, red onions, and a generous helping of mozzarella for a Friday night treat.
  5. Mediterranean Chicken Tacos: Combine the chicken with a dash of tzatziki, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese in a soft taco shell for a zippy twist on taco night.
The Sous Vide Chicken Warmed up and chopped

Final Verdict

Trader Joe’s Sous Vide Chicken Thighs score a whopping 9 out of 10 stars for the good chicken flavor that is open to other seasonings, the simplicity, and versatility. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a culinary rookie, these chicken thighs are like having a sous chef in your fridge ready to help you shine at mealtime. I am keeping a couple of boxes on hand at all times now just for those last minute dinners. It’s not all that cheap but it saves a tremendous amount of time!

Trader Joe’s Sous Vide Chicken Thighs

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