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View Full Version : Trimming Chicken, and


HawgHeaven
01-30-2009, 03:51 PM
I read the thread started by Balls Casten, great info there! In an effort to not hijack his thread, I have posted below a couple more questions on chicken trimming, and acceptable chicken pieces for competitions.

First, I understand the reason for using thighs - the juiciness is more predictable... nothing like a juicy thigh! But does anyone use different pieces, such as legs, wings, or even breast meat? I know ya' need the moistness, but it isn't impossible to present a moist piece of something other than thigh, IMHO.

Second, trimming the pieces. No matter what piece you choose to use, I assume the skin needs to cover the exposed meat (the side you see in the box), and it needs to be crispy? With that in mind... at my last comp, my neighbor had this rather unusual (to me) device that cut the knuckles off the thighs. He then stretched the skin over all exposed surfaces and skewered it underneath.... is that really necessary to lop off the knuckles??

Just a newbie comp guy tryin' to learn...

lunchlady
01-30-2009, 04:18 PM
a lot of people use different parts of chicken, thighs just seem to win more, that's all.
we have personally tried wings, breasts (bone-in and boneless)s, and pulled, along with thighs. I agree with you, those other parts CAN be moist and delicious. You can use the search function and find threads on this same subject.

nowhere does it say that you have to have skin, firstly. And nowhere does it say that it has to be crispy either. But, in my experience, you are going to be up against skin, crispy or not, most of the time. Crispy, or bite-through skin just gives you a better chance. Again, you can use the search function and find threads on this same subject.

I would be careful of "postage stamps' - skin pulling back while cooking so that it isn't covering the meat. That's probably the reason your neighbor skewered his thighs. We don't go to that extreme, but we have had postage stamps happen too. You also have to make sure you get every toothpick or skewer OUT before you turn them in.
( DQ mod)

You could leave the knuckles on too, if you want to, but you then run the risk of a judge chomping down on that knuckle... and there goes your tenderness score.

I hope that helped.

Butt-A-Bing!
01-30-2009, 04:25 PM
Hmmm, so what's this de-knuckler look like?

Chris

scottyd
01-30-2009, 07:10 PM
Hmmm, so what's this de-knuckler look like?

Chris

Work, while preping, it takes time. lots of time. I wish I had pictures to show. next time I will take some.

Smokin' Joe
01-30-2009, 07:42 PM
I've looked at chicken boxes for quite a while and wondered how in the world you guys get 'em to look so good...mine always look like the bone is too long:shock: How in the world do you cut them down is my question??

Jeff_in_KC
01-30-2009, 09:00 PM
I just use poultry/bone shears to cut off knuckles if I get pieces where the bone looks to be too long (thank God this isn't Woodpile!).

But that's made me wonder some too... when you do that, you're exposing bone marrow which is then in direct contact with the meat. I've never noticed it but would the marrow taint the flavor of the meat when it cooks? Or would it enhance it or have no effect at all?

KC_Bobby
01-30-2009, 10:05 PM
Man for two years I thought you just cut off the crap end of the knuckle - as in the next bone's trimmed remain, not the entire knuckle inself. No wonder I could barely get 2 wide in the box.

BTW, word on the street (like, I wish for sure - yeah) is that KCBS was going to get rid of chicken and add loin.

HawgHeaven
01-31-2009, 07:46 AM
Thanks for all the input, and sorry for the late response folks!

The deknuckler looked like something I'd ever seen before, it was a homemade device. I wish I had payed more attention to its detail, and watch how he used it, but I was busy trying to get things done.

I would think if you're gonna go to that much trouble, then why not just debone the thighs?

kcpellethead
01-31-2009, 10:34 AM
Man for two years I thought you just cut off the crap end of the knuckle - as in the next bone's trimmed remain, not the entire knuckle inself. No wonder I could barely get 2 wide in the box.

BTW, word on the street (like, I wish for sure - yeah) is that KCBS was going to get rid of chicken and add loin.

There is absolutely no talk of replacing chicken with pork loin.

Smokin' Joe
01-31-2009, 11:16 AM
[quote=KC_Bobby;839962] No wonder I could barely get 2 wide in the box. quote]

I'm with ya Bobby...I wondered where they were getting baby chickens:roll:

Brew-B-Q
02-01-2009, 08:35 AM
I'll preface this with an "I'm stupid" remark. But what is the knuckle? If you have a chicken thigh with one bone in it (like I usually find) is it just the large end of that bone? It seems that that piece is sometimes as wide as how I try to trim the other parts. I assume that's the knuckle and some people are just lopping it off?

Scottie
02-01-2009, 10:57 AM
There is absolutely no talk of replacing chicken with pork loin.


That is good to hear, as I finally figured out chicken!!!

ov1
02-01-2009, 03:31 PM
Around here you get thighs with two bones in them. I am assuming the second bone is the knuckle.

rookiedad
02-02-2009, 09:05 AM
Thanks for all the input, and sorry for the late response folks!

The deknuckler looked like something I'd ever seen before, it was a homemade device. I wish I had payed more attention to its detail, and watch how he used it, but I was busy trying to get things done.

I would think if you're gonna go to that much trouble, then why not just debone the thighs?

i tried cutting the knuckles off but was winding up crushing the bone and getting shards at the end(crappy $30.00 food tv poultry shear). the thought of totally deboning the thigh occcured to me too being that there is only about one inch of bone in there anyway after trimming and that bone itself if crushed or cut on too much of an angle might not be too good to bite into. so the question is would the judges score down a thigh that is basicly a bundle of meat wrapped in skin. has anyone ever tried it?
thahks.

Sledneck
02-02-2009, 09:19 AM
i tried cutting the knuckles off but was winding up crushing the bone and getting shards at the end(crappy $30.00 food tv poultry shear). the thought of totally deboning the thigh occcured to me too being that there is only about one inch of bone in there anyway after trimming and that bone itself if crushed or cut on too much of an angle might not be too good to bite into. so the question is would the judges score down a thigh that is basicly a bundle of meat wrapped in skin. has anyone ever tried it?
thahks.
Did boneless thighs twice and finished DAL and 2nd to DAL. I thought they were awesome, judges didnt.

Divemaster
02-02-2009, 10:00 AM
a lot of people use different parts of chicken, thighs just seem to win more, that's all.
we have personally tried wings, breasts (bone-in and boneless)s, and pulled, along with thighs. I agree with you, those other parts CAN be moist and delicious. You can use the search function and find threads on this same subject.

nowhere does it say that you have to have skin, firstly. And nowhere does it say that it has to be crispy either. But, in my experience, you are going to be up against skin, crispy or not, most of the time. Crispy, or bite-through skin just gives you a better chance. Again, you can use the search function and find threads on this same subject.

I would be careful of "postage stamps' - skin pulling back while cooking so that it isn't covering the meat. That's probably the reason your neighbor skewered his thighs. We don't go to that extreme, but we have had postage stamps happen too. You also have to make sure you get every toothpick or skewer OUT before you turn them in.
( DQ mod)

You could leave the knuckles on too, if you want to, but you then run the risk of a judge chomping down on that knuckle... and there goes your tenderness score.

I hope that helped.

I normally use the skewers that I would for turkeys... They are about 4 1/2 - 5" long and are VERY hard to miss...

I just use poultry/bone shears to cut off knuckles if I get pieces where the bone looks to be too long (thank God this isn't Woodpile!).

But that's made me wonder some too... when you do that, you're exposing bone marrow which is then in direct contact with the meat. I've never noticed it but would the marrow taint the flavor of the meat when it cooks? Or would it enhance it or have no effect at all?

I would think that the richness of the marrow would enhance the flavor... (try roasted beef marrow on toast! Damn good stuff!)

Brew-B-Q
02-02-2009, 10:18 AM
Did boneless thighs twice and finished DAL and 2nd to DAL. I thought they were awesome, judges didnt.

Sled, did you have skin on the thighs?

Sledneck
02-02-2009, 10:20 AM
Sled, did you have skin on the thighs?
Yes, they were small without the bone, The skin wrapped all they way underneath and 9 fit in the box easy

Brew-B-Q
02-02-2009, 10:40 AM
I wonder why the judges didn't like it. Seems silly that they would ding someone for using boneless meat if it tasted good.

HawgHeaven
02-02-2009, 04:26 PM
I wonder why the judges didn't like it. Seems silly that they would ding someone for using boneless meat if it tasted good.
I think someone mentioned in another thread (jokingly) that they ship the same judges around the country every year to do the events. :eusa_clap Wouldn't that be nice! Then at least we'd know what to expect every time...

I don't see anything written anywhere that says boneless=bad, bone=good. Go figure...