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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 03-28-2010, 01:38 PM   #1
topchefvt52
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Default Comp Chicken Thighs

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!
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Unread 03-28-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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What are you using for wood, rub, sauce?
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Unread 03-28-2010, 02:26 PM   #3
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Brine the meat before you cook it.
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Unread 03-28-2010, 02:36 PM   #4
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check out Kosmos chicken soak...it's a great product
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Unread 03-28-2010, 02:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B C BBQ View Post
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.
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Unread 03-28-2010, 02:40 PM   #6
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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.
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Unread 03-28-2010, 03:00 PM   #7
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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.
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Unread 03-28-2010, 03:03 PM   #8
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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.
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Unread 03-28-2010, 03:07 PM   #9
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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.
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Unread 03-28-2010, 04:03 PM   #10
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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...
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Unread 03-28-2010, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Selle View Post
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....pe=H&prod_id=4
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Unread 03-28-2010, 05:03 PM   #12
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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.
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Unread 03-28-2010, 07:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
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".
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Unread 03-28-2010, 08:14 PM   #14
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I'll say this. Don't spend your money on high dollar soaks or brines. Brines are simple and very inexpensive to make. 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.
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Unread 03-28-2010, 09:16 PM   #15
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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.
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