Apr
24
2017

A cooking deboning bleg.

I deboned some chicken thighs for a stew that I was making today, and I left far too much meat on the bones. Is this the optimal method for doing it, or should I be trying to partially cook the chicken first? I mean, I understand why you’d want to debone like this if you’re trying to get the meat to look like it wasn’t shredded, but this was chicken and rice stew. ┬áIt was going to always end up being blobs of meat.

 

[UPDATE: To clarify, I care about efficient and fast, not aesthetics.]

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11 Comments

  • acat says:

    I’ll admit, I mostly just buy boneless thighs ..
    .
    This looks like a reasonable approach .. and a *lot* of work ..
    .
    I think, once you identify the bone, just cut the meat off in strips on both sides until you’ve got a .. meaty bone left .. then toss that in the stock pot.
    .
    Mew

    • Skip says:

      Costco has nicely sized packages of them, so yeah. But if the end result was going to be stew, I would probably just start by pulling the skin off, not discarding, but throwing in to some water that’s just barely boiling the whole thing plus the separated skins, add salt, celery, whatever, and whenever the meat’s cooked enough, pull them out and pull the meat off, throw the bones back in. IE, just go ahead and make the stock you’re going to need. That’s efficient, for values of efficient, but not fast.
      .
      I’d actually add the salt first, maybe brine the thighs, but I like a little more salt than most people I think.
      .
      But if I really wanted whole boneless thighs for presentation, then, yeah, that’s the best way to do it. Get rid of connective tissue around the ends, slice along the bone on the back side, use a small, sharp knife to go around the bone. The same basic technique works for a leg of lamb, if you want that boneless, or deer hindquarters.

      • acat says:

        For stew, I pull a frozen carcass out of the deep freeze and boil it (with a little vinegar) for 12-14 hours, strain, add rice and veggies and water, cook, then roast a fresh chicken separately, pull off enough (fully cooked) meat as needed for stew, and .. the rest goes on sammiches or as barbecue and the carcass goes into the deep freeze.
        .
        Every few months, I pull all the bird carcasses and boil them, then freeze the broth – saves time and space.
        .
        Mew

  • JustDave says:

    Why not just buy boneless chicken thighs (or breasts)? It’s reasonably cheap around these parts, especially if you watch for a sale.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Because these boned thighs were buy one, get one, so we bought one package to roast up right away and tossed the other one in the freezer.

  • Luke says:

    The secret to deboning an animal:
    If at all possible, cook the critter first.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      That was one conclusion that I was coming to. In retrospect I should have deskinned, slow-cooked, then pulled the cooked chicken, deboned it, cut it up, and put it back in the stew.

      • acat says:

        Yep. Spend the extra buck on de-boned thighs if you need ’em pretty, i.e. for grillin’ ..
        .
        If you’re just makin’ stew, buy whole legs or quarter-cut (or heck, whole) *chickens* and cook, *then* cut.
        .
        Much easier. Also, you don’t have to wash your paws near as often, and you can nibble on bits of tasty, tasty chicken along the way.
        .
        Mew

  • irusro says:

    When I make chicken soup I brown the thighs first then add the water and chicken stock. Then the thighs boil until the bone falls out and the skin comes off. I use a set of tongs to pull the skin(s) and bone(s) out of the pot. After this, I will add the rest of the ingredients to complete the soup.
    With one bone in each thigh and usually fairly large hunks of the skin floating removing those is not a problem.
    There is a goodly amount of flavor in the bones, skin, fat and the mixture of light and dark meat in a thigh. The flavor from the bones and skin seems to stay in the pot after they are removed too.
    Sometimes I will chill the pot and pick the larger chunks of solidified grease out before finishing cooking the soup.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      I often don’t have the time to chill the pot, but the rest sounds doable.

      • JAB says:

        The quick and dirty way to do that is get out what separated fat you can with a spoon or something, then toss in a few ice cubes and let the grease congeal around them.

        But yeah, when making my texmex chicken soup I start with a whole bird, cook it in a crockpot overnight, then debone the thing and add the rest of the ingredients.

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