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View Full Version : Chicken Practice...again!


JD McGee
08-30-2008, 09:04 PM
I wasn't happy with the last batch off the kettle (skin wise) so I did another test drive on a MBGE. The skin was perfect...IMHO...:-P But it still shrunk up on me and I did very little trimming this time. These are from Costco and looked pretty bad over all. I think I'll practice on them and then go to a REAL butcher for my comp thighs. What do you think?

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/Competition%20Cooks/IMG_4885.jpg

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/Competition%20Cooks/IMG_4886.jpg

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x206/johnrhana/Competition%20Cooks/IMG_4888.jpg

Plowboy
08-30-2008, 09:13 PM
Trim your chicken so you have skin that will wrap the piece and cover the entire top and sides. Use toothpicks to hold in place.

Try that next time.

Jeff_in_KC
08-30-2008, 09:29 PM
What Todd said... and use fresh, never frozen chicken. Oh and don't forget to shave! :lol:

Bbq Bubba
08-30-2008, 10:26 PM
I gotta get on this shavin wagon.....
Skin looks bite thru, trim like Todd said and your lookin good!

BBQ Grail
08-30-2008, 10:38 PM
I gotta get on this shavin wagon.....

Bubba, I don't compete but I think they mean your face, and not your back.

swamprb
08-31-2008, 01:12 AM
Mbge?

chibi
08-31-2008, 08:17 AM
I use bamboo skewers to hold the skin tight. I cut them in 3rds. They are a little larger and do not break. Also gives me something to hang on to when moving them. No smudges!!

JD McGee
08-31-2008, 08:39 AM
Thanks Guys...one more practice run next Sunday before the comp...I better get this down or I'll be suckin' hind tit to Swamprb! :lol::lol::lol:

What Todd said... and use fresh, never frozen chicken. Oh and don't forget to shave! :lol:

I'm afraid to ask...:twisted:

Mbge?

Medium Big Green Egg...:twisted:

TN_BBQ
08-31-2008, 08:42 AM
I use bamboo skewers to hold the skin tight. I cut them in 3rds. They are a little larger and do not break. Also gives me something to hang on to when moving them. No smudges!!


Why am I'm having a hard time visualizing what you guys mean by using toothpicks and skewers to hold the skin tight.

chibi
08-31-2008, 08:45 AM
Why am I'm having a hard time visualizing what you guys mean by using toothpicks and skewers to hold the skin tight.

When trimming make sure you leave enough skin to be able to wrap around the back of the thigh. Then use a toothpick or skewer and puncture the skin through both sides along the back to hold the skin tight.

JD McGee
08-31-2008, 09:15 AM
When trimming make sure you leave enough skin to be able to wrap around the back of the thigh. Then use a toothpick or skewer and puncture the skin through both sides along the back to hold the skin tight.

Kinda like sewing the skin together with a toothpick...:-P My problem was that I could not see what the thighs looked like before I bought them. Some of the skins were just hangin on by a thread and some were very mis-shaped. I'll try my local butcher before the comp.

ique
08-31-2008, 09:52 AM
and use fresh, never frozen chicken.

What do you think the downside is to frozen chicken?

I often prep in advance, cryo and freeze chicken for contests. Never noticed a difference but would be interested in what you think on this.

Porky
08-31-2008, 10:06 AM
JD
I did some thighs for the family last weekend and used Paul Newman's Oil & Vinegar dressing as my marinade and noticed that I had considerably less skin shrinkage than when I used Wishbone Italian dressing. My guess is that the olive oil vs. vegetable oil made the difference. Now, I am not a competitor so I am only telling you what I observed. Hope it helps.

JD McGee
08-31-2008, 10:20 AM
JD
I did some thighs for the family last weekend and used Paul Newman's Oil & Vinegar dressing as my marinade and noticed that I had considerably less skin shrinkage than when I used Wishbone Italian dressing. My guess is that the olive oil vs. vegetable oil made the difference. Now, I am not a competitor so I am only telling you what I observed. Hope it helps.

Thanks Les...that's the one I used as well. I think it was a couple of things. I did not trim enough meat in order to be able to wrap the skin around..and the thighs were in pretty bad shape right out of the package. :-P

swamprb
08-31-2008, 11:45 AM
Legs are all the rage in the PNW

JD McGee
08-31-2008, 02:29 PM
Legs are all the rage in the PNW

Cool...I like legs...just not chicken legs...:twisted:

Jeff_in_KC
08-31-2008, 04:20 PM
What do you think the downside is to frozen chicken?

I often prep in advance, cryo and freeze chicken for contests. Never noticed a difference but would be interested in what you think on this.

Chris, are you sure you're freezing chicken that hasn't already been frozen once? My take on fresh, never frozen chicken is first and foremost, it's fresh. Fresh bird equals better flavor. Second, I think chicken that's frozen tends to mush a bit if you even slightly get it too done. Third, I believe that the skin takes a beating by being frozen and makes it a little more difficult to get tear through skin. But you've been doing this and winning longer than I have so if it works for you, keep on keepin' on. I just know that when I took Bubba's (Bubba and Jeff) advice and went with fresh bird, I started scoring a lot higher and in my last six contests, I've gotten three first places with it. Plus I got 12th at the American Royal Open last fall. I'm kinda sold on it. :wink:

Rightstuff
08-31-2008, 04:44 PM
We've been practicing with the chicken thighs as well. Lots of trimming, leaving enough skin to wrap around the chicken piece. No marinating, etc. We've had no problem with shrinkage (I'll leave that one alone!).

The Pickled Pig
08-31-2008, 07:21 PM
What Todd said... and use fresh, never frozen chicken. Oh and don't forget to shave! :lol:

Who sells fresh chicken in the KC area? Even Whole Foods' chicken is frozen before it goes in the case.

Neal
08-31-2008, 07:46 PM
Who sells fresh chicken in the KC area? Even Whole Foods' chicken is frozen before it goes in the case.

I'm not sure Paul, but I think you can get fresh (never frozen) bird parts at some of the grocery stores...I was told by the meat manager at the Price Chopper in Roeland Park that they cut up fresh birds. The parts (legs, thighs, etc.) are not packaged and are on ice in the meat case. I'm not sure if he was telling me what I wanted to hear or not. I only bought it once anyway as the thughs are much larger than I prefer.

Hen House also has chicken parts on ice in the case and I remember seeing a sign that made a "never frozen" claim. McGonigles might be another option.

What I want to know is where you find them small thighs?

The Pickled Pig
09-01-2008, 12:54 AM
Use really small chickens. If you can't fit 12 in the box they're too big.:lol:

http://www.thepickledpig.com/ppcontestresults/2008excelsiorsprings/chicken.jpg

Lee, our chicken cook, has become an expert at trimming thighs rather aggresively. We've been fairly successful at comps (4 calls in the last 5 contests) since we started doing it but I prefer to eat less trimmed thighs. All of that trimming takes a lot of fat and juice out of it. I'm not sure why the judges seem to like it.

JD McGee
09-01-2008, 08:48 AM
Use really small chickens. If you can't fit 12 in the box they're too big.:lol:

http://www.thepickledpig.com/ppcontestresults/2008excelsiorsprings/chicken.jpg

Lee, our chicken cook, has become an expert at trimming thighs rather aggresively. We've been fairly successful at comps (4 calls in the last 5 contests) since we started doing it but I prefer to eat less trimmed thighs. All of that trimming takes a lot of fat and juice out of it. I'm not sure why the judges seem to like it.

WOW...nice lookin' box bro! Kinda reminds me of White Castle Burger Buns...:lol::lol::lol: Lee must have trimmed bone and all to get that many in there...I can see 9 working out with an agressive trim on the meat...but how in the world did he get 12? :icon_shock1:

Jeff_in_KC
09-01-2008, 09:11 AM
Who sells fresh chicken in the KC area? Even Whole Foods' chicken is frozen before it goes in the case.

Kurt's Famous Meats in West Independence (Truman Rd near 435) is where I get mine.

Jeff_in_KC
09-01-2008, 09:15 AM
Use really small chickens. If you can't fit 12 in the box they're too big.:lol:

http://www.thepickledpig.com/ppcontestresults/2008excelsiorsprings/chicken.jpg

Lee, our chicken cook, has become an expert at trimming thighs rather aggresively. We've been fairly successful at comps (4 calls in the last 5 contests) since we started doing it but I prefer to eat less trimmed thighs. All of that trimming takes a lot of fat and juice out of it. I'm not sure why the judges seem to like it.

Paul, another one with never frozen chicken is Snyder's on Independence Avenue. And last year when I bought mine there, the thighs were about the size of farkin' ping pong balls so 12 in a box would be no problem without all the trimming! I didn't do well with them so I stopped using them. In hindsight, I believe I was overcooking them because they were so small. Hell, it could have been that the judges thought they were quail thighs because sometimes I wondered that myself! :roll:

ique
09-01-2008, 10:09 AM
But you've been doing this and winning longer than I have so if it works for you, keep on keepin' on. I just know that when I took Bubba's (Bubba and Jeff) advice and went with fresh bird, I started scoring a lot higher and in my last six contests, I've gotten three first places with it. Plus I got 12th at the American Royal Open last fall. I'm kinda sold on it. :wink:

Well thats pretty damn good. Best I can do lately is just get it good enough to not hurt me in the Overall.

Got a practice run coming off the Egg right now, will post a pic.

ique
09-01-2008, 10:26 AM
Not bad, tastes pretty good!

VGuilford
09-01-2008, 11:42 AM
Who sells fresh chicken in the KC area? Even Whole Foods' chicken is frozen before it goes in the case.

Hen House also carries fresh chicken.

Alexa RnQ
09-01-2008, 12:31 PM
Good God, every time I see those pictures I think you people must be cooking quail! With the chicken sold here, we have a hard time cramming six in a box -- no options unless we cut bone, because the bone length alone dictates that we have to select carefully to get ones short enough to wedge in there.

ique
10-08-2008, 03:07 PM
Thanks for this

... and use fresh, never frozen chicken.

And this

Hen House also carries fresh chicken.

Thats what we used in the Open and it made a big difference.

watg?
10-08-2008, 03:38 PM
My advice would be practice with what you will use in a contest. Dont practice with Costco chicken, then buy fresh butchers chicken for a contest. The end result will not be the same. I have already made that mistake.

Jeff_in_KC
10-08-2008, 03:49 PM
Thanks for this



And this



Thats what we used in the Open and it made a big difference.

Congrats, Chris! We didn't exactly take a beating in chicken (over 160 is good) but missed out with all you good cooks up top! :wink:

Alexa RnQ
10-08-2008, 03:52 PM
God, just the WORDS "chicken practice" make me want to hurl at this point.
We've cooked waytoodamnmuch chicken the past couple of weeks.

ique
10-08-2008, 03:56 PM
Time to start cooking lots of white meat!

Alexa RnQ
10-08-2008, 04:01 PM
Time to start cooking lots of white meat!
http://crew.autoshowoff.net/extasy/lala.gif

Scottie
10-08-2008, 04:29 PM
Yeah, some of us feel real sorry for you guys... :roll: It's a real nice problem to have....

i would suggest chicken burritos with the leftovers...

Transformer BBQ
10-08-2008, 08:40 PM
I went 7? with a call... now on a huge drought...

My supplier thinks I have an serious problem with my recent chicken addiction... he might be right... stupid bird...

goodsmokebbq
10-09-2008, 09:10 AM
stupid bird...
Agreed

lunchlady
10-10-2008, 07:35 AM
yep... stupid bird...

U2CANQUE
10-10-2008, 09:16 AM
But, in the long run, because EVERYONE I know of hates dealing with chicken, present company included, when chicken scores even decently the total outcome is so much better....because there is so much dread in chicken, and overlooked......but, yeah, practicing everything else is a lot of enjoyment, compared to the dread of practicing chicken........glad I am not alone in this boat!

Dale P
10-10-2008, 10:27 AM
Sounds like Im alone again. We like cooking chicken. It is my favorite to cook.
The other 3 gives us fits. Good then bad, then great then overcooked ect........