In Defense of Skin and Bones

Back in the 1980s, chicken went through a Dolly Parton-esque transformation–it became all breast. Not only that, it lost its skin and bones. Not to mention its thighs, legs, wings and backs.

Chicken became nothing but boneless skinless breasts (bsb). Now there’s nothing wrong with white meat which is, of course, the only part of the chicken acceptable for chicken salad. But we became so used to boneless skinless breasts that we forgot about the rest of the bird.

With no fat to give moisture and no bone to give flavor, the boneless skinless breast is easily cooked to the point of sawdust. So often as not it gets marinated in oil, sauteed in butter or covered with cheese. And that pretty much defeats the low-fat purpose of buying it in the first place, right?

So I’m here to say bring back the rest of the chicken.

For one thing, a package of what my mother calls second joints (leg and thigh in one piece) costs way less than the equivilant amount of b.s.b. A whole chicken–3 or 4 pounds–costs pennies. And you have the leftovers to make homemade stock.

I’ve read that roasting the perfect chicken is how chefs truly gauge each other. I like to rub a little olive oil on the skin, stuff the cavity with halved lemons, garlic and lots of fresh rosemany and sprinkle lemon pepper over all surfaces. Your kitchen will smell like the best restaurant in town. Serve that with some risotto and you’ve got a truly wonderful meal.

Next time you’re at the store, take another look in the poultry department. You don’t have to eat the skin…and if you cook the chicken on a rack, all the fat will drip to the bottom of the pan.

Just try it…


Filed under Food/Cooking

12 responses to “In Defense of Skin and Bones

  1. I roasted my first chicken last night in fact! There were a few moments where I was a little grossed out, but I’d rather be grossed out by what my food actually is than ignore that altogether. I just did a little salt and pepper and a quartered lemon in the cavity, and the meat was so deliciously moist. Next time I’ll get more adventurous with seasonings.

  2. Kimmer

    AMEN! Like I said….chickens pay my bills. So go ahead and break off a little wing or leg. Cluck Cluck!

  3. Niece Lash

    How funny you should write about this because we hadchicken thighs tonight! Absolutely delicious. Marinated in soy, lemon, garlic, ginger…YUMMY!

  4. hereinfranklin

    Kira–you’ll get over the sqeamishness…
    Kimmer–cluck cluck to you too
    Lash–sounds delish!

  5. Little Sister

    I agree with here in Franklin. I don’t hardly eat chicken if there isn’t a bone attatched and a little skin too. My fave is the leg. I am so glad we agree!!

  6. it’s gooooooood to be back reading your blog! it’s better than tv. have you ever rotisseraried a chicken???? I looooooove rottisserarie chicken. (please take note, many things may be changing but my spelling ability is not).

  7. hereinfranklin

    I don’t have a rotisserie now, but someday maybe I’ll have a really fancy grill that will have one. We’ll have a fete de poulet then!

  8. fluffy

    Do you have a vertical roaster??? They are 10.00 at Wal-Mart (you know how thrifty I am.) by the way, did you know that chicken is the reason all these young girls are skinny with huge breasts??? It is the hormones.

  9. Beck

    I love chicken too………….especially the fried variety but last Saturday while biting into a thigh……….I dislocated my jaw. Until you’ve done that you don’t know pain………..child birth, spinal fusions included. So beware!!! I’m on a “soft diet” for 2 weeks.

  10. I’m making that chicken tonight! Had to stop by here and check the recipe.

  11. the best restaurants usually serve super delicious foods at a very low price ~

  12. *’: I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information ~.*

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