How to Debone Chicken Thighs
Many recipes nowadays require boneless chicken thighs instead of the usual, regular ones. And while they may be one of the low-priced chicken cuts, it is no secret that supermarkets charge you a hefty amount for the already deboned chicken thighs. Learning how to debone the thighs yourself, will not only earn you a new skill but you will also be able to save much of your hard-earned income.
So, why not learn this particular new skill already? We promise to guide you through each step carefully and before long, you will know how to cut chicken thighs like a pro!
How To Debone Chicken Thighs Neatly
- Separating the drumstick from the thigh
Depending on the type of chicken cut you bought, you may have drumsticks attached that you need to separate from the chicken thigh. In order to do this, the joint that holds the both together needs to be severed using a cutting tool. Cutting the joint and the meat encircling it will allow you to have the thigh detached from the drumstick.
Pick a tool that suits you best and one you can maneuver well. We recommend using knives similar to fillet knives that are particularly long with narrow blades. Alternatively, you may use clean kitchen shears or scissors. Basic paring or boning knives may work for you too.
Next, move on to finding the joint. By taking a look at the joined pieces, you will be able to guess where the joint is. However, to pinpoint the exact location, you will need to bend the leg. Try it from a number of different angles and places. The joint will be where the leg bends or turns.
Once you have found the joint, put the thigh on your cutting board. Make sure the side with the skin is facing down. Then move on to separating the thigh and drumstick by driving your knife into the joint which will completely detach the two. It is very likely that you may strike the bone instead of the joint. In such a case, carefully move your knife about and you will be able to detect the joint when the knife comes in contact with it. Following suit, cut into it.
To be on the safer side, you should definitely opt for a cutting board instead of your kitchen counter. There is always a possibility of the meat getting contaminated from germs and dirt from the counters and worktops. Then there is also the risk of damaging the counter since you are working with sharp knives. Also, compared to a kitchen counter, cleaning a cutting board is a piece of cake. This will help in preventing the spread of bacteria like salmonella.
- Getting rid of the skin
This part definitely depends on your preference and recipe. In case you choose to do this, slice off the membrane sandwiched between the skin and muscles using your knife. Grip the skin and gently pull back as you go; the skin should come off easily.
Whenever you cut chicken thighs, keep in mind that you can also get rid of the skin after you have deboned and trimmed it. This decision varies from person to person. Put off this task for the last in case you want to remove the skin afterward.
- Cutting down the length of the bone
Place the side that had or still has the skin, onto the cutting board. This means the bottom side of the thigh will be exposed to you. Use your knife to make cuts that run along from the top end to the bottom end of the thigh bone. The cuts being made on either side of the bone, they have to be close and deep enough to expose most of the bone. However, be cautious while you maneuver the knife so you can avoid slicing through the entire thigh from one end to the other.
- Getting rid of the cartilage
Cartilage is what holds the bone to the meat. To slide your cutting tool in between the meat and bone, you would need to pull the bone away. If the cartilage is not removed, this would be difficult to do. Hence, the tough cartilage on the top and bottom of the bone near the cuts needs to be gotten rid of. Use your knife to finish this task by chopping the gristle away.
- Cutting the bone away
Start cutting just below the bone by sliding the knife in and working your way from the top to bottom. This will help sever the membrane that now holds the bone and meat together.
Pry the bone away as you cut using saw-like motions. If you are using scissors or shears, cutting through the muscle and membrane should do it. Nonetheless, stay close to the bone so that not much of the meat is lost.
For safety, make sure you are cutting in the opposite direction to your hand, otherwise, you may injure yourself while you try to make the small, scraping cuts.
- Rid yourself of the fat
With the bone gone, it will be easy for you to spot most of the fat on the chicken thigh. If the bone had been in place, not much of the meat would have been exposed and therefore, a part of the fat would have stayed concealed as well. Now that the thigh has been deboned, you should have little difficulty in finding and removing the fat from the meat.
- The final check
Even after following all procedures of deboning, you may very well find bits of cartilage or bone in your meat. To achieve that level of perfection, you have to look through it manually and if you have none, you can make use of the meat as you please! But if you do have some left behind, simply carve them away using your cutting tool.
There you have it, a simple breakdown of deboning a chicken thigh. With the completion of all the steps, you should be able to use the meat for cooking, grilling or any way you want. Hope you enjoyed learning this new skill and on your way to implementing it in your kitchen!