Using boneless chicken meat is something that is very common in cooking. For this session of Cooking 101, I’ll discuss how to debone a chicken thigh and leg quarter, this is actually a very easy part of the chicken to debone since we’re only dealing with two bones. It normally takes people just 1-2 tries to do this comfortably.
Normally people can actually ask of this from the butcher/meat section of the supermarket, but this is not the case for all people, there are some supermarkets that only carry the quarters without offering the extra services like filleting and specified cuts. On a personal note though I like to do it myself. Actually, the quarter that I’m using in this article was cut from a whole chicken that I carved as well.
Fillet Knife – I’m using a Fillet knife for this one, it’s a slightly more specialized knife but as a substitute, you may use a small utility knife (similar to what you use for steak). The goal here is to have a knife that can easily fit in-between the bones and the meat of the chicken pieces.
Kitchen Shears – This will be used to cut the skin part of the chicken. Sometimes using a knife when slicing through raw chicken skin ends up with rough cuts and awkward tears in the skin, so to make the job easier and cleaner I recommend using Kitchen Shears.
1. Starting from the joint, using the shears cut the skin to make a division between the leg and thigh.
2. Following the division you made, slice the meat until you reach the joint. You will want to make a slice that goes around the joint. After that you can simply pull the two pieces apart separating them at the joint.
3. After making the division, from the joint area, Insert your knife in-between the bone and the meat. Here you will want to slice out the connections of the bone and the meat. Pull every once in a while on the bone so you can assist your knife in separating the meat from the bone. Once you’re done on one side of the bone, go ahead and do the same for the other side. If done correctly pulling the bone out of the chicken will be a snap and you’re left with just the delicious thigh meat.
4. Moving on to the leg, you first make an incision to separate the skin of the leg from the bone of the leg itself. After doing this insert your knife again in between the bone and the meat from the joint where you pulled the leg and thigh apart. Similar to the thigh part, you will then slice around the bone to sever the connections between the bone and the meat. You will only need to do this on one side though. Slice around the bone until you are able to pull out the bone from the meat cleanly.
And now you’re finished! You now have boneless pieces of the chicken leg and thigh for you to use in a variety of recipes. As you can see it’s quite simple and once you’re used to it will only take a few minutes of your preparation time. Have a great time cooking!
Tip: When handling raw chicken make sure that you wash your chopping board very well afterwards. It’s highly recommended that you use one side of your chopping board for raw meat and the other side for vegetables and herbs to prevent contamination.