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How to trim a chicken thigh for competition


The first thing to do is remove this triangular piece on the bottom side of the thigh.

Next, go find this vein and remove it.   Try to pull it out in one piece without cutting it; use a paper towel to help you get a grip.  This is the vein that, once in a while, leaves some blood near the bone. You wouldn’t want a judge to find that when he takes a bite!

Now, turn the thigh over and remove the skin.

Trim along the fat lines and remove all the loose and hanging pieces until you have a nice heart shaped piece like this.

Scrape the fat from the underside of the skin using a flat blade.  Scrape until you can see the cutting board through the skin, but be careful not to cut through.  This take a little practice, but after you get the hang of it, it goes pretty easily and the reward is tender bite through skin that’s never rubbery.

Now put the skin back on the thigh and wrap it under.  Your thigh is ready to rub!

4 Responses to “How to trim a chicken thigh for competition”

  • bmanMA:

    Awesome. Do you find that the skin stays on and tight on the bottom during the cook? I have used toothpicks, but would love to skip that step.

  • hogblog:

    Thanks bmanMA! With this method, no toothpicks are necessary, the skin stays put. I’ve never had it shrink at all! Give it a try!

  • Brian Killion:

    This is a very good sequence. I had a hard time getting the fat off the skin. I felt if I scraped any harder the skin would have torn.

  • hogblog:

    Thanks Brian! It takes a little practice to get the fat off the skin without ripping it, but the right knife makes all the difference. I use a 5″ Santoku that is extremely sharp. The blade is held perpendicular to the table with your fingers holding the blade, not the handle. Curl the fingers of your left hand and hold the skin in place with your fingertips. Use short firm strokes and scrape away from your fingers to remove the fat. Good luck!