Originally Posted by toumaj
I've never competed before, but am signed up for a backyard gig this coming weekend.
Ribs and chicken.
I'm good to go with the ribs, but I'm a little worried about chicken.
I'd like to do some chicken wings, but I keep reading how people use thighs the majority of the time in comps.
Whatever advice you guys and gals could provide would be welcomed.
Scrape em at home. You are allowed to trim meat at home, so long as you don't season them (i'm sure a backyard event would also allow you to scrape the thighs at home where it is soo much easier).
Might try this:
Remove the skin from at least a dozen thighs
Scrape the fat with a spoon (don't fret too much if you tear em a lil, but try not to)
Trim the meat so they are rectangular (looks nice and makes skin fit better)
Remove the real big hunks of fat
Re-apply the skin to the meat (nicest meat pieces with nicest skin pieces)
If you trim the meat into rectangles, you'll probably find the skin will completely encapsulate (fancy word for cover it up) and you'll need to trim the skin a bit (throw the leftover skin at anybody that looks at you weird and asks "you cookin chicken there?")
Season & cook (no point in telling you how to do this, because every pitmaster has lil bit too much pride to completely follow another man's recipe word for word so you are on your own here)
Use the ugly pieces to test for doneness.
Serve the purdiest pieces to the judges.
Remain calm and smile when they call your name and you pickup your trophy.