Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Turn to the Dark Side: Switch from Breasts to Bone-In Thighs and Legs for Richer Eating

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Turn to the Dark Side: Switch from Breasts to Bone-In Thighs and Legs for Richer Eating

Article excerpt

If your relationship with chicken began with nuggets and stalled amid the supermarket's plastic-sealed trays of skinless/boneless breasts, we've got a bone to pick with you.

It's time to give bone-in chicken a chance, from the whole bird to the especially flavorful (and often less pricey) legs and thighs.

"The dark meat is the way poultry should really taste. It just evokes that beautiful flavor," says chef Hugh Acheson, who has several Georgia restaurants including Five and Ten and Empire State South.

Mr. Acheson, a cookbook author and Bravo "Top Chef" judge, understands the low-fat benefits of boneless, skinless chicken breast. "But everything in moderation. I want to equate my life to eating the most flavor I can, and flavor is really found in the dark meat.

"I have a family of four," he adds. "If I take four good chicken thighs and fry them or roast them in the oven really simply in a cast-iron pan and serve it with a bunch of sides, that's enough protein for us.... That small amount of beautiful dark meat protein is definitely going to be a good meal."

And you'll often find bone-in thighs and legs are juicier than way-too-dry white meat.

At Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami Beach, Fla., executive chef Jeff McInnis offers free-range chickens and Poulet Rouge birds from North Carolina. He favors bone-in poultry. "The meat is going to be richer and taste more like the bird," he says. "The bone is sort of like an insulator (that) keeps some of the juices in. That's what keeps a lot of the flavor in."

When grilling a bone-in bird, Mr. McInnis browns it close to the coals, then moves it up onto a rack (or away from the coals) before letting it slow cook until done. "You want to get it away from the coals and basically your grill will act like an oven," he says.

Mr. Acheson has another reason to consider adding a platter of bone-in chicken to your meal rotation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.