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Leg/Thigh question from a noob

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    Leg/Thigh question from a noob

    Hi everyone

    So we know chicken leg/thighs (dark meat) is juicy, tender, flavorful, etc cooked at 175-185 compared to its lean breast counterpart that gets dry after 165.

    My question is: Does skin play a role in this flavor profile, or is that more related to *FAT* in the dark meat and the skin only relates to the *CRISP*?

    Background of question: I may not always be able to buy skin-on for legs/thighs.
    Last edited by amalik; May 10, 2020, 04:04 PM.

    #2
    It’s the meat. The target internal temp does not change whether skinless or not.

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      #3
      Dark meat gets more blood flow due to being used more. It changes the muscle fiber. Skin or no skin will still be just. That being said, skin on split breasts, or airline breasts will be juicer than boneless skinless.

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      • amalik
        amalik commented
        Editing a comment
        I don’t mind skinless breast but I feel like for legs it gets way too skinny with skin off.

      #4
      Thank you guys for the fast replies!

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      • Darchie03
        Darchie03 commented
        Editing a comment
        Wrap the skinless breasts with bacon & cook to 160°F They won't be as dry & most things are better with bacon.

      #5
      Thighs for the win! The exterior may dry out a smidge depending on the cook and type.

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        #6
        For me skin on dark meat is the best part of the bird. There is a lot of fat on the underside of the skin. As it cooks, the fat renders off and bastes the meat. At least I think it does. 😉. Anyway, it’s skin on thighs for us.

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          #7
          Yum
          Attached Files

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          • Spinaker
            Spinaker commented
            Editing a comment
            Ooooooookay

          • Mudkat
            Mudkat commented
            Editing a comment
            Purrrrrfect!

          #8
          For me I will cook the thighs with the skin on and then take it off when they reach 170 and throw the skins back on to crisp up. Or cook them at 375 or so to render the fat and crisp the skins. The 170 above is higher than I will ever take breasts and I might take thighs to 175. They just have a better mouth feel.

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            #9
            Yes, that dark meat will be just fine skinless. But to be clear, if Popeye's ever offers an order of chicken skin with a side of red beans and rice, I'll be there every other day

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            • amalik
              amalik commented
              Editing a comment
              I definitely think it's tastier with skin on. Was just wondering if you could still make it taste good skinless.

            #10
            I find that all the flavor is in the meat. I really love the skin too, but I crisp that up by cooking hot. I always do thighs over 400 F, hot and fast is the order of the day when thighs are in the game.

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              #11
              I'm actually very happy to have all of you take the thighs with the skins. Leaves more boneless, skinless thighs to me.

              I brine them in beer for a couple hours, trim the excess fat off, coat them in a homemade rub before they go on the smoker at approximately 225, coat them in honey right before they are done and take them off at approximately 160 internal temperature. I could (and do) eat these all the time.

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