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topchefvt52
03-28-2010, 01:38 PM
Hi all,

I've taken 4 runs at thighs in the past month, trying to get them dialed in for a comp this summer.

Twice I've done them bone-in, Jacardi'd the skin, rub all around, braised in Parkay to 140 and finished em to 180 o at 375. I'm pretty happy with them.

Twice I've removed the skin, scraped the fat, boned the thighs, reformed them and cooked them the same as above. I'm happy with those too but the texture of the meat changes without the bone...seems denser.

One thing that has me stymied is how the judges will react to the boneless thighs. Apart from the denser meat, the skin comes away with the 1st bite.

Those of you who've gotten a call on thighs, what's your opinion?

Thanks much!

B C BBQ
03-28-2010, 01:59 PM
What are you using for wood, rub, sauce?

River City Smokehouse
03-28-2010, 02:26 PM
Brine the meat before you cook it.

Willie's BBQ
03-28-2010, 02:36 PM
check out Kosmos chicken soak...it's a great product

topchefvt52
03-28-2010, 02:36 PM
What are you using for wood, rub, sauce?

Hickory, ButcherBBQ Honey Rub, sauce is a slight clone of Chris Lilly Championship Memphis Red.

I did brine the 1st batch of boneless thighs...I think it made the meat a lil less dense. Still wondering about the "fall away" skin.

SteerCrazy
03-28-2010, 02:40 PM
Our first comp we used used boneless thighs and didn't brine. placed in the 30's. Second comp we did the same method but brined the chicken. Took 7th.

topchefvt52
03-28-2010, 03:00 PM
I'm hearing ya'll loud and clear on the brine and take it your results are better with boneless vs bone-in. So back to the skin issue. Should I totally/partially remove it and scrape the fat or leave it as is? If I scrape it, it's pretty much just sitting on top of the meat. Do judges care if it pulls away when bitten into?

I'm signed up for a KCBS judging class in May...just trying to gather info in the meanwhile.

Thanks for the replies. :thumb:

Ron_L
03-28-2010, 03:03 PM
Right or wrong, judges seem to expect bite through skin. If your skin pulls off in one piece you will probably get knocked down in tenderness.

woodwardbbq
03-28-2010, 03:07 PM
I have been judging for two years and I can tell you that lossing the skin on the first bite does not help.I have heard that some judges will score down a little.I always put one finger on each side to hold the skin.I am wanting to get into comp. cooking with in the next two years.I have a lot to learn first.I have only judged skinless chicken one time.It did ok at the table.I can tell you that if I get a clean bite on chicken , I am happy.I am going to try your method next time.Good Luck with your chicken.

Jeff Selle
03-28-2010, 04:03 PM
Can I ask a rookie question? What is this Jacardi method?

BTW, I have been removing and scraping my skin and when I get it thin enough to render the remaining fat, my skin seems to re-adhere itself to the meat just enough to get the bite through without pulling it off the thigh...

MilitantSquatter
03-28-2010, 04:53 PM
Can I ask a rookie question? What is this Jacardi method?

BTW, I have been removing and scraping my skin and when I get it thin enough to render the remaining fat, my skin seems to re-adhere itself to the meat just enough to get the bite through without pulling it off the thigh...


A Jaccard is a meat tenderizing tool

http://www.jaccard.com/Product-View.php?prod_type=H&prod_id=4

topchefvt52
03-28-2010, 05:03 PM
A Jacardi is a tool used for meat tenderizing. It has a row of 16 razor sharp teeth sitting under a spring loaded handle. Push down on the handle and the teeth penetrate the meat resulting in two things:
1. Tenderizing
2. Helps penetration of marinades into meat.

Using a Jacardi on chicken skin is supposed to make it more tender...not sure I buy it but that's the concept.

Rookie'48
03-28-2010, 07:24 PM
Right or wrong, judges seem to expect bite through skin. If your skin pulls off in one piece you will probably get knocked down in tenderness.

As a judge, here's my take on the skin: You are not required to turn in the skin with the chicken. If you do turn in the skin and it is rubbery then you'll lose points on tenderness. If I have to wipe sauce off of my beard because the skin came off the chicken I will mark it down at least one, possibly two, points in tenderness.
A lot of cooks remove the skin, trim and season the meat, scrape the skin down in thickness and then re-attatch it to the meat before cooking. If you are going to go to all this work to get "bite through" skin, why turn in skin that has the consistancy of an inner tube?
If the skin isn't where you want it to be - leave it off! Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can't get the skin to turn out right. I understand that. You have to understand that I must score your entry "as presented by the cook". If it's presented with rubbery skin, that's how it gets judged. If it's presented with no skin, that's how I'll judge it, too.
I don't judge by what isn't there, only "as presented".

River City Smokehouse
03-28-2010, 08:14 PM
I'll say this. Don't spend your money on high dollar soaks or brines.:crazy: Brines are simple and very inexpensive to make.:thumb: Do a little research on brining, you see what I mean. It can be as little as apple juice, salt, and chicken broth. You could even use Tender Quick and water. It helps to research. You'll find some good info on Youtube with Alton Brown also.:becky::clap2:

B C BBQ
03-28-2010, 09:16 PM
I have been using a straight salt/sugar equal part brine lately on a lot of things and it seems like the meat "welcomes" the smoke a bit more. I have been adding maple syrup to the brine for pork chops and they have been coming out with a pseudo bacon flavor that everyone who eats it seems to love.
I have also been using a lot of apple wood too which has been complementing the chicken and pork really well.

topchefvt52
03-29-2010, 08:37 AM
If the skin isn't where you want it to be - leave it off!

Rookie'48, thanks for the insight. Good to know that. I'll keep working on the skin issue but it's a relief to know I have that back-up option.

SmokinOkie
03-29-2010, 09:45 AM
...Don't spend your money on high dollar soaks or brines.:crazy: Brines are simple and very inexpensive to make.:thumb: Do a little research on brining, you see what I mean.

I agree completely. In fact, my Brining 101 has been out there for 10 years and doesn't cost a penny.

Brining 101 (http://www.cookshack.com/brining-101)

I laugh every year when Bed, bath and Beyond and Williams Sonoma sell packets to make your own brine. That's like paying for solution added me.

Do it yourself.

Sticks-n-chicks
03-29-2010, 04:18 PM
As a judge, here's my take on the skin: You are not required to turn in the skin with the chicken. If you do turn in the skin and it is rubbery then you'll lose points on tenderness. If I have to wipe sauce off of my beard because the skin came off the chicken I will mark it down at least one, possibly two, points in tenderness.
A lot of cooks remove the skin, trim and season the meat, scrape the skin down in thickness and then re-attatch it to the meat before cooking. If you are going to go to all this work to get "bite through" skin, why turn in skin that has the consistancy of an inner tube?
If the skin isn't where you want it to be - leave it off! Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can't get the skin to turn out right. I understand that. You have to understand that I must score your entry "as presented by the cook". If it's presented with rubbery skin, that's how it gets judged. If it's presented with no skin, that's how I'll judge it, too.
I don't judge by what isn't there, only "as presented".


We had the fortune to have Dave hang out with us a NKC and it was great! Dave makes a great point, it was great hearing what judges look for, think about, consider however you want to word it.

Chicken is my nemesys...but I will conquer it one day!

Rookie'48
03-30-2010, 12:46 AM
Chicken is my nemesys...but I will conquer it one day!

Will, if you can keep on doing what you did at NKC then you're sure to get calls :-D. I still think we was robbed on the briskie, though. Farkin' judges :twisted:.

watertowerbbq
03-30-2010, 09:35 PM
I am wanting to get into comp. cooking with in the next two years.I have a lot to learn first.

The best way to see what it takes is to go and get your feet wet. If it seems to intimidating, try entering a contest just cooking chicken and pork, or ribs and brisket or whatever are your two best categories. That's how I got started. I cooked up at State Center and entered chicken and pork. Had a great time, met some real nice people and got the bug. Go for it!

Smitty250
04-01-2010, 04:05 PM
Thanks for the brining info SmokinOkie - great read!

big brother smoke
04-01-2010, 06:07 PM
[QUOTE=SmokinOkie;1230824]I agree completely. In fact, my Brining 101 has been out there for 10 years and doesn't cost a penny.

Brining 101 (http://www.cookshack.com/brining-101)

Shhhh......stop giving away this secret:hand::laugh:

That link broke my brining cherry and I still use it today!

SmokinOkie
04-02-2010, 11:08 AM
Shhhh......stop giving away this secret:hand::laugh:


That link broke my brining cherry and I still use it today!

Thanks, glad it helped.

Hey, I have to be known for something, too bad I don't get royalties for those using it, but I'm happy to share...

Working on an update. Maybe I don't publish it at all then it's really secret :becky:

PorkQPine
04-02-2010, 11:25 AM
Bite through chicken skin is essential for good scores and is worth the time and effort to achieve. If one of the better pitmasters has a class close to you it will be worth the time and money to attend since you will save yourself a few years of trial and error, not to mention the hair you will lose when you pull it out trying to figure how to get your scores higher:) Most guys that figured it out and score high don't give their secrets away free, just ask Myron!! LOL, muffin tin chicken:)p

big brother smoke
04-02-2010, 11:50 AM
Thanks, glad it helped.

Hey, I have to be known for something, too bad I don't get royalties for those using it, but I'm happy to share...

Working on an update. Maybe I don't publish it at all then it's really secret :becky:


Just PM a brother and I will help keep it secret!
I use this as my pork shoulder brine and injection also.:tape::cool:
Thanks!

rweller
04-02-2010, 03:20 PM
Well, just my thoughts on chicken skin. I'm a judge ( thats cooked a few contest), I have judged 18 contest in the last two years and to be honest have probably only had bite through chicken skin maybe 5-6 times. This is suppsoe to be a meat contest, so I personally don't score down if I can't bite through the skin. If I can thats great.
I guess I would be considered a cooks judge.

Burk504
04-02-2010, 03:43 PM
I guess I would be considered a cooks judge.

I hope your judging in MD in a couple weeks!