How to Trim a Chicken Thigh

Chicken thighs are absolutely scrumptious! They’re half of a chicken leg in case you’re wondering. The other half is the drumstick (check out my Sweet & Spicy Chicken Drumsticks recipe). Chicken thighs are cheaper, more flavorful and definitely more forgiving than chicken breasts. If you overcook a chicken thigh, it’s still tasty, whereas if you overcook a chicken breast . . .

Many cooks don’t bother with trimming the excess fat and skin from chicken thighs.  I do because who needs the extra fat? Look carefully at the picture of the thigh when it’s skin-side down. You’ll see a section of yellow fat that needs to be excavated with your paring knife. There’s also a strip of fat just under the skin that’s on the flesh of the chicken that can be scraped off with your knife. Look carefully at the photo — I left the bits of fat close to where I trimmed it from the thigh. You’ll notice that there’s still a trace of fat on the finished thigh but look at how much fat was removed!

 You need to exercise caution when preparing raw meats because of salmonella. That means that you should have a cutting board just for meat and poultry, and make sure you thoroughly wash your countertops, knives, sink — anything that has come in contact with raw meat. Heat destroys salmonella, so once chicken is cooked, it’s safe to eat.

1.Place a chicken thigh skin-side down on a cutting board. You’ll see the excess skin and fat that needs to be trimmed.

2.Using a sharp knife, trim away the extra skin and fat that’s adhering to the meat. Notice the yellow vein of fat on the right side of this picture. If you wiggle your knife into that fat, it will release and you can remove it. The tail of the chicken is on the left side. You just slice that away.

3.The picture below shows a trimmed thigh ready to be cooked.