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FattyMac 10-10-2010 11:01 AM

Pickled Pig Competition Style Chicken thighs (Pron)
Having only competed in amateur competitions I have never had to do competition chicken. Since the Fatty Mac competition team intends to play with the big boys next year I thought it might be a good idea to use the off season to get in some practice. I used the Pickled Pig's guide as my inspiration.

The whole process as described on the Pickled Pig site can be found HERE.

I was already a bit into the process before I decided that I should document my procedures. Just as described in the Pickled Pig guide I started with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. I removed the skin and cut out the bones and any cartilage. I left as much fat on the thighs as possible on the assumption this would add flavor to the chicken later on and would have plenty of time to render out.

After all that here is what I ended up with:
You can see all the "waste", however I intend to keep all of the waste from this and subsequent practice sessions and make a killer chicken soup.

Next up we scrapped down the reserved chicken skin:
As you can see there was quite a bit of fat on the skin. I would estimate that there was about 1/4 cup of fat from just 4 thighs. You can imagine how much there would be from 16 or so for a competition.

The thighs formed and seasoned before adding the skin:

I was very aggressive with the seasoning and I think it was too much as the end product was a little salty.

Here we have the thighs with the skin's back on and more seasoning on the outside:

Now up here in Canuckistan we don't have the competitors dirty little secret in the blue squeeze bottle. As a substitute I used some ghee, which is clarified butter.
I figured this would have to give that rich buttery taste since it is butter! A thought occurred to me that it might worth keeping the left over fat and any fat that would render out of the trimmings if you boiled them and using that fat for the brazing process, a double down on chicken flavor.

Since this was my first attempt I decided to use my Treager so that I could dial in the temp. I had the unit dialed in at 275F for the entire cook. First up was the braise in the ghee that had melted while the Treager was coming up to temperature.
The thighs were braised in the ghee for about 30 minutes.

Next the thighs spent about 15 minutes with the skin seam down and then about 15 minutes with the skin seam up so that we could get a little more color on the top of the thigh for a nicer presentation.

Now after all that work we come to the end, a finish with a guava based sauce that I have been working on.
Not too bad for a first time out if I do say so my self.
and I do!

sfbbqguy 10-10-2010 11:40 AM

Those look fantastic! Nice they tasted good too.

What about the signature "Bite Through" pic?

N8man 10-10-2010 11:52 AM

Impressive!!! Now I'm hungry for thigh meat....

bluetang 10-10-2010 12:01 PM

Fine looking thighs, indeed. Guava based sauce, you silver tongued devil:wink:Mmmm

swamprb 10-10-2010 12:03 PM

Very nice!

Mad Max 10-10-2010 02:05 PM

Mmmm, that looks too good! Nice Job.

BRBBQ 10-10-2010 02:16 PM

Paul is a nice guy and I've used the same method, nice chicken

Contracted Cookers 10-10-2010 05:19 PM

salt may have come from the butter. we have never had a problem from todds rub.

peppasawce 10-10-2010 05:47 PM

great job you are comp ready

Boshizzle 10-10-2010 06:55 PM

Nice job on that chicken!

Diva Q 10-10-2010 06:58 PM

Best of luck those look great!!

Crash 10-10-2010 07:42 PM

We have noticed a bit of oversaltiness in Yardbird rub as well. Dont get me wrong we still love it and use it quite often. I think it just takes some time and practice to dial in the right amount needed.

Pictures look great, thanks for sharing. Now, back to that bite-through skin question?????

caliking 10-10-2010 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by Contracted Cookers (Post 1427191)
salt may have come from the butter. we have never had a problem from todds rub.

Ghee isn't very salty... very rich, but not that salty. The first time I made some wings with Yardbird, I too was a tad too liberal with the rub and my wings were too salty. I think its a great rub, I just need to tone down how much rub I use next time.

@FattyMac: That guava sauce looks killer! Were the thighs too greasy/rich after the ghee braise? I might try that soome time (mmmmm... ghee)

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