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View Full Version : Skinless Chicken Thigh entries? Or not....


jcpetro97
10-19-2011, 02:16 PM
So, after reading through a bunch of chicken turn in posts today, it got me thinking... have people tried to turn in bone-in thighs without skin? If so, how did you fare in comparison to having thighs with the skin on.

Rookie'48
10-19-2011, 03:03 PM
I've had skinless thighs hit my judging table maybe a dozen times in the past five years. A couple of them were excellent entries and most of us scored them that way. A couple of them were obviously a last second decision and they looked and tasted that way - the scores pretty much reflected that, too.
I'm pretty vocal about if the skin is rubber to leave it out of the box, but unfortunately there are still those judges who will score you down for not turning in the skin - the same as some judges will ding you if you don't turn in thighs. I think that these things have to be remedied in the near future.

jcpetro97
10-19-2011, 03:09 PM
hmm.. interesting.. thanks for the info... I have prepared my thighs both ways, and I haven't decided which way I am happy with best yet, so I figured I would ask what people do. Its great to get the perspective of a judge. thanks!!

Fat Freddy
10-19-2011, 04:41 PM
I have only done a few contests, and have tried it boneless, skinless and ended up ninth in chicken, then another comp I did it was just skinless thighs and my finish was worse but my score were better than my first comp. Then the most recent comp I did I included skinand I finished middle of the pack and had a judges comment "would have been better without skin too crispy" I appreciated that comment and learned from it.

But my best scores from my comps have been bone in but skinless. Saying that I am spending all winter cooking chicken and I AM going to get it figured out.:crazy:

jcpetro97
10-19-2011, 07:21 PM
Ha, sounds good Freddy.. let me know when you get that figured out. :-D I may have to do the same... I am praying for a mild winter!!

boogiesnap
10-19-2011, 07:52 PM
I've had skinless thighs hit my judging table maybe a dozen times in the past five years. A couple of them were excellent entries and most of us scored them that way. A couple of them were obviously a last second decision and they looked and tasted that way - the scores pretty much reflected that, too.
I'm pretty vocal about if the skin is rubber to leave it out of the box, but unfortunately there are still those judges who will score you down for not turning in the skin - the same as some judges will ding you if you don't turn in thighs. I think that these things have to be remedied in the near future.

the remedy...please.

southernstyle
10-19-2011, 08:00 PM
keep working on the skin. it helps hold int he moisture from the meat. a thigh without the skin can start to dry and form a bark. not good for texture. it has obviously worked to some degree, but i would venture not to much in the top 5 per catagory.
cook it hot and fast without scraping or low and slow with scraping.or go mid range smoke till internal is 145 then tin foil your pan. (cook in pan on a rack) hope this helps.

jcpetro97
10-19-2011, 08:06 PM
southern, the thing I have been struggling with, is if I take the skins completely off, I really can't get them to stay on once the chicken is done. Ie. you take a bite, and the skin doesn't want to stay, even though its bite through. ( or what I am perceiving as bite through )... NOW, if I leave the skin attached at one end, I get much better results, however, you can't trim as well when you do it this way... Catch 22 I guess. More practice for me!! :-D My family will be pleased

southernstyle
10-19-2011, 08:11 PM
a quick spray of pam pre cook in between is your friend although i never have a problem. try to finf thighs at the market that are white in color not yellow

jcpetro97
10-19-2011, 08:13 PM
hmm.. good idea.. I'll give it a shot... thanks!!

Rookie'48
10-19-2011, 09:28 PM
I've had skinless thighs hit my judging table maybe a dozen times in the past five years. A couple of them were excellent entries and most of us scored them that way. A couple of them were obviously a last second decision and they looked and tasted that way - the scores pretty much reflected that, too.
I'm pretty vocal about if the skin is rubber to leave it out of the box, but unfortunately there are still those judges who will score you down for not turning in the skin - the same as some judges will ding you if you don't turn in thighs. I think that these things have to be remedied in the near future.

the remedy...please.

Without trying to turn this into a campaign speech I'm going to say that I think the remedy is continuing education for the judges. Maybe something along the line of classes (on line???), seminars (on line???) or just an occasional e-mail blast on a certain aspect of judging. In another thread the OP said that his CBJ instructor said that you don't have to judge the skin - taste, yes - judge, no :shocked: :shocked: :shocked:.
It's my belief that we can do a lot of what needs to be done on line at very little cost to KCBS while at the same time increasing the skill level of the judging pool.
Will this make all judges score exactly the same? No, and it shouldn't - but it will put all judges on the same page when we're talking about judging the chicken skin, the rib's temp or whether they got burnt ends or not.

bbq.tom
10-20-2011, 11:25 AM
As a judge I've encountered occasional skinless thighs and most of these have been pretty decent - and I rendered decent scores. I'd much rather NOT have skin on the thigh than have it so tough I can't bite through it or have it entirely come off with the first bite! The KCBS guidance is that if skin is presented on the chicken then it must be "tasted", but you better darn well believe that most judges not only judge the skin on taste, but on tenderness as well!

Education or further clarification from KCBS would be highly beneficial!

I DEFINITELY like the idea of KCBS sending out emails to judges with reminders of how to judge or what has been seen/heard lately concerning judges and judging. If nothing else, put something in the Bullsheet monthly.

Sawdustguy
10-20-2011, 12:17 PM
If you can't get bite through skin you are best to turn it in without the skin. In theory you should not loose any points for turning in skinless. The judge should judge it as it is presented.

Rookie'48
10-20-2011, 12:50 PM
That's exactly right, Guy! Now if we can just get the word out to everyone :idea:.

Big Mike's BBQ
10-20-2011, 01:01 PM
keep working on the skin. it helps hold int he moisture from the meat. a thigh without the skin can start to dry and form a bark. not good for texture. it has obviously worked to some degree, but i would venture not to much in the top 5 per catagory.
cook it hot and fast without scraping or low and slow with scraping.or go mid range smoke till internal is 145 then tin foil your pan. (cook in pan on a rack) hope this helps.
I have done 4 comps this year and turned in skinless bone in thighs. I have placed 3rd and 9th in chicken and the other 2 were way out of the money. You can either spend time practicing to get your skin right every time or practice cooking juicy thighs without skin. I prefer to go skinless. why spend all that time scrapping and then cooking only to have it fail. I prep my chicken in about 12 minutes.
Oh yeah, I got a comment card on one of my not so glorious proformances that said the skin was tough. So yes you can over cook it and create a crust.


Big Mike

jcpetro97
10-20-2011, 01:04 PM
hmm... lots of things to think about... ok.... maybe this is overkill... maybe not... but, what about cooking with the skins on, and then take the skins off to "finish" that might keep them from drying out. I dunno... I am just grasping at straws, and haven't really tried that yet.

mjljr13
10-25-2011, 07:21 PM
The first year and a half if my competition career I did boneless skinless......and got murdered after that I did bone in skin on with the same taste and usually always get n top10....just my experience

Sledneck
10-25-2011, 07:37 PM
Interesting topic. I have only one 1st place chicken ever. Can't remember the how or why but the skin on my chicken shrank to a postage stamp. I sauced the hell out of it . What the judges were biting in to wAs skinless but looking at it the edge of whAt was there of the skin would appear to be at the top of the teeth marks. So partial skinless can win

Gadragonfly
10-25-2011, 09:57 PM
I've seen many judges that taste the skin and remove it, some that remove it before tasting (even though they should taste) - I watched in amazement once as a judge was able to remove the skin (from 6 samples) with only one hand, leaving the other hand clean to record his score. Personally, I eat the skin. I love the skin, there is a lot of flavor there, but I wonder how much of the cook's flavor profile is lost when a judge removes the skin. When the cook removes the skin, rubs the meat, scrapes and rubs the skin, replaces the skin, cooks in a butter bath, etc. and then the judge removes the skin before even tasting the meat, then how much of the flavor is removed with the skin? How much flavor is left on the meat? I don't know the answer, I'm just playing devil's advocate. I have had some fantastic chicken that was skinless. It was pretty, sparsely sauced but nicely seasoned, had nice, even color and scored 9s. I wonder if it wouldn't be better to try to perfect a skinless thigh that is flavorful and pleases all of the judges rather than taking a chance that one or two judges at the table are going to remove the skin and 1/2 the flavor.

Then again, make me happy - just leave the skin on :laugh:
Julie

Tiki Wolf
10-26-2011, 06:30 AM
Has anyone removed the skins, trimmed the chicken, re-attached the skins for the cooking process, then removed them again to sauce and present? Wouldn't leaving the skin on during the cooking process keep the thighs moist?