Questions about cooking whole spatchcocked chicken in sous vide

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I have a sous vide unit that I've used about a dozen times for pork chops, rack of lamb, lamb chops, salmon, and chicken parts. A few days ago in Trader Joe's, I noticed a package in the chicken section. It looked like a whole chicken soaking in orange seasonings. I bought it.

Today, I went to cook it in the sous vide expecting the time to be on the order of 2-3 hours, which is what all of the other times have been. I went online to find instructions and discovered that they all specify 6 hours at 150°-160°. It's now 3:30, so that would put supper at close to 10pm -- far past my bedtime. I'll plan to cook it tomorrow.

I see now that the label says Spatchcocked. I looked that up and found that the backbone has been removed so that it can lay flat for quicker cooking. The label also says that it is butterflied whole. Is this the same thing as spatchcocked? The net weight is 3.5 pounds.

I have a couple of questions that I would appreciate help with:
  1. Is 6 hours at 150°-160° correct?
  2. The package it comes in looks to be heavy plactic and close to a vacuum bag. Can I use it as is?
  3. The instructions on the back say to remove the bag and the absorbent pad. Does that mean that I cannot use the bag it came in?
  4. If I remove it from the bag, it will probably open out flat. That will be bigger than vacuum bags I have. Should I cut it in two and use 2 bags?
If there is anything more that I should know, please comment.

Thanks

I am including photos of the labels if that is helpful.

Front label.jpg

Nutrition facts.jpg

Price label.jpg
 

medtran49

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I wouldn't use the bag it came in because you don't know if it's safe to cook in and the absorbent pad might not be safe with heat.

I've never cooked a spatchcocked chicken in the sous vide as they cook so quickly and evenly in the oven due to lying flat.
 

Andy M.

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I have a sous vide unit that I've used about a dozen times for pork chops, rack of lamb, lamb chops, salmon, and chicken parts. A few days ago in Trader Joe's, I noticed a package in the chicken section. It looked like a whole chicken soaking in orange seasonings. I bought it.

Today, I went to cook it in the sous vide expecting the time to be on the order of 2-3 hours, which is what all of the other times have been. I went online to find instructions and discovered that they all specify 6 hours at 150°-160°. It's now 3:30, so that would put supper at close to 10pm -- far past my bedtime. I'll plan to cook it tomorrow.

I see now that the label says Spatchcocked. I looked that up and found that the backbone has been removed so that it can lay flat for quicker cooking. The label also says that it is butterflied whole. Is this the same thing as spatchcocked? The net weight is 3.5 pounds.

I have a couple of questions that I would appreciate help with:
  1. Is 6 hours at 150°-160° correct?
  2. The package it comes in looks to be heavy plactic and close to a vacuum bag. Can I use it as is?
  3. The instructions on the back say to remove the bag and the absorbent pad. Does that mean that I cannot use the bag it came in?
  4. If I remove it from the bag, it will probably open out flat. That will be bigger than vacuum bags I have. Should I cut it in two and use 2 bags?

You have a better chance of the chicken being done if it is vacuum sealed (it looks like it is). If it's not laying flat in the bag that's a negative for the cooking time. If you have an instant read thermometer , you can temp it through the bag to see it it reached your target temp. However, then you'll have to rebar it. If you do that, two separate bags will be better. The fact that you started it with the absorbent pad isn't really an issue but if you rebar, toss the pad.
 
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I wouldn't use the bag it came in because you don't know if it's safe to cook in and the absorbent pad might not be safe with heat.
Yeah, that's what I thought. Some time ago, I bought some chicken parts that had an absorbent pad in the bag. Even before cooking, it was a little tricky to remove. I'm afraid that cooking would make that worse.

I've never cooked a spatchcocked chicken in the sous vide as they cook so quickly and evenly in the oven due to lying flat.
Ok, so if I remove it from the bag to get rid of the pad, then I can cut in into 2 peices and put each one in a separate bag. Then I would expect the cooking time to be similar to chicked parts (legs and thighs), which is about 2-3 hours, not 6. No?
 
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You have a better chance of the chicken being done if it is vacuum sealed (it looks like it is). If it's not laying flat in the bag that's a negative for the cooking time. If you have an instant read thermometer , you can temp it through the bag to see it it reached your target temp. However, then you'll have to rebar it. If you do that, two separate bags will be better. The fact that you started it with the absorbent pad isn't really an issue but if you rebar, toss the pad.
I haven't started it yet. When I found that the cook time is 6 hours, I came here for advice and will do it tomorrow.
 

taxlady

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Unless it's too hot to use the oven, that's what I suggest. It will cook evenly and quickly in the oven. If you cut up some veggies into biggish chunks and lay the chicken on top of them before putting it in the oven, you will have some very tasty veggies to go with that chicken. The veggies will get some of the marinade and chicken juices.
 
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OK, I took it out of the bag. I've attached photos of the front and back. The absorbent pad was built into the bag.

I have a vacuum bag large enough to hold it. Is 6 hours still the recommended sous vide time?
 
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Unless it's too hot to use the oven, that's what I suggest. It will cook evenly and quickly in the oven. If you cut up some veggies into biggish chunks and lay the chicken on top of them before putting it in the oven, you will have some very tasty veggies to go with that chicken. The veggies will get some of the marinade and chicken juices.
If I go that route, what is the oven temperature and cook time? I have a probe so I can set it for an internal temperature.

Should I wrap it or cover it?

Open front.jpg
Open Back.jpg
 

taxlady

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If I go that route, what is the oven temperature and cook time? I have a probe so I can set it for an internal temperature.

Should I wrap it or cover it?

View attachment 62357
View attachment 62358
The instructions on the package, 350°F oven for 45-50 minutes, internal temp of the chicken 165°F, sound perfectly reasonable to me. I wouldn't wrap or cover it, unless it starts to get too dark before the temperature is right. And, that is unlikely to happen in less than an hour at 350.

What I would do, is turn those wings around, so they are behind the chicken. They are the part that might get burnt, but they won't if they are behind the chicken. I might also want to turn the legs outward, but I think that is less important. If you don't know how to turn the wings around, I'll be happy to describe it.
 
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The instructions on the package, 350°F oven for 45-50 minutes, internal temp of the chicken 165°F, sound perfectly reasonable to me. I wouldn't wrap or cover it, unless it starts to get too dark before the temperature is right. And, that is unlikely to happen in less than an hour at 350.
OK, I'll give that a try.

What I would do, is turn those wings around, so they are behind the chicken. They are the part that might get burnt, but they won't if they are behind the chicken. I might also want to turn the legs outward, but I think that is less important. If you don't know how to turn the wings around, I'll be happy to describe it.
I have never turned wings around, so maybe a description would be good. Thanks

Your tasty veggie suggestion sounds good. What veggies are most likely to cook well in this way? I would think carrots. Broccoli seems like it would come apart.
 

taxlady

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OK, I'll give that a try.


I have never turned wings around, so maybe a description would be good. Thanks

Your tasty veggie suggestion sounds good. What veggies are most likely to cook well in this way? I would think carrots. Broccoli seems like it would come apart.
Most root vegis work, but beets would overwhelm the flavour. I usually use some of these: carrots, sunroots (Jerusalem artichokes), celeriac, onion (whole, quartered, or halved. It depends on the size of the onion), shallots, leeks, potato wedges, rutabaga, turnip, and stalks of celery that are not cut at all the long way, just cut into about 3" pieces. I don't know about broccoli. We prefer the flavour of the above ground parts of brassicas when they are raw. The brassica roots, like turnip and rutabaga, don't seem to develop that unpleasant "cabbage stink" that broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage get too easily when cooked. So, I don't roast those.

I was going to type out directions for turning the wings back on a chicken, but look what I found. This explains it better, with visuals.

 

Silversage

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Rule of thumb for sous vide is a minimum of an hour of time for each inch of thickness at the thickest part. So the fastest way to cook it is to lay it out flat, then bag it. Measure the thickest part (probably the breast at 1-2 inches) and use a minimun of 1 hour per inch. If you go to 1 1/2 hours or 2 hours, it won't overcook, but will be more tender.

So for example, if it is 2 inches thick at the deepest part, sous vide it for 2-4 hours.

If you want solid scientific info on sous vide, either Steve Baldwin or J Kenji Lopez-Alt are the experts. Google them and get the science. You can't go wrong with either of them.
 

medtran49

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The link below is the way I cook spatchcocked chicken. You obviously can't do the dry brine, but you can follow the placement, heat and time directions.

I usually partially steam vegetables so they don't get dry and leathery. At the fairly high heat of the below link, that's even more important.

 
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Most root veggies work, . . .
What about asparagus?

For the potato wedges, I assume you leave the skin on, right?

I was going to type out directions for turning the wings back on a chicken, but look what I found. This explains it better, with visuals.
Perfect, thanks

I dumped the entire contents of the original bag with all of the seasonings into a baking dish. As you can see from the photows above, there is quite a lot of liquid in the dish. Should I leave the chicken sitting in that liquid or raise it up a bit with a metal baking rack?

And would the veggies go under the rack or between the rack and the chicken?

Thanks for all the help. I may actually learn passable cooking! 🤨🤔🤨🤔🤞
 
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Rule of thumb for sous vide is a minimum of an hour of time for each inch of thickness at the thickest part.
That squares with the 6 hour estimate for a whole (not spatchcocked) chicken. They are usually 5-7 inches at the thickest part.

If you want solid scientific info on sous vide, either Steve Baldwin or J Kenji Lopez-Alt are the experts. Google them and get the science. You can't go wrong with either of them.
Very helpful, thank you.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Silicon Valley, CA
The link below is the way I cook spatchcocked chicken. You obviously can't do the dry brine, but you can follow the placement, heat and time directions.

I usually partially steam vegetables so they don't get dry and leathery. At the fairly high heat of the below link, that's even more important.

That's an amazing link -- almost a Chicken Baking 101 class. Thank you very much.

Their picture of the spatchcocked chicken looks a lot more spread out than mine does. Should I try to open it up more?
 

dragnlaw

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Yes, flatten it but just by hand if you can. You might find it a bit more difficult to 'tuck the wings under the bird' now that it's spatchedcocked. That's usually done with whole birds that don't get tied down.
I think that your time and temp will not overly darken the wings, maybe just a tiny bit on the ends but nothing I would worry about.
 

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