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How to keep the skin crisp on chicken theighs?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

How to keep the skin crisp on chicken theighs?

 

Here's what I did:

1. Heated up a pan

2. Generously put evoo on the theighs (bone in skin on)

3. Cooked them skin side down on med-high for 5 min

 

Skin was perfect at this point

 

4. Lowered the heat to med, flipped them over

 

After about 7 minutes the skin was getting soggy again

 

5. So I put them back on the skin side and went up to med-high again for 3 min

6.  At that point the skin burned and I still had to flip them again for 5 more min until they fnished cooking.

 

Are you suppose to go back to the presentation side?

 

Should I have done like 15 min on med on the skin side first, then flipped them for the final 5 min on the other side?

 

Or after #3 spoon oil over the top?

 

Any thing else I should have/shouldn't have done?

 

TIA

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post #2 of 26

I can't speak from experience since I don't cook thighs this way, but here's a thought.  Perhaps you can treat them like thicker steaks and crisp up the skin on the stovetop, but finish the cooking in a moderately hot oven, say 400F.  So instead of chicken fried steak, you could have steak fried chicken.

 

Actually I am trying to decide what to fix for dinner on this cold and rainy day - maybe I'll try to prepare some chicken thighs and see how they turn out.

 

mjb.

 

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post #3 of 26

Finish on the skin side rather than starting there. Or go with a torch for the finish a la BDL.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 26

To get crispy skin, I cook mine in the oven. I usually have my oven on 425, with one rack on the top third and one of the bottom third of the oven. 15-20 minutes on the bottom rack then another 15-20 minutes on the top rack. I don't add oil to the thighs because they really have enough fat from the skin. I do spray the bottom of the pan with cooking spray just to make sure they don't stick. The skin on these thighs come out nice and crispy every time.

post #5 of 26

The problem is moisture.  Whether or not you're adequately drying your chicken to begin with is one issue. Another, is that there's a humid area over the frying pan when you cook and the cooked skin softens from the humidity and from moisture rising up through the chicken as it cooks. 

 

Usually, if you allow the chicken to rest a couple of minutes after cooking, and if the skin was well dried to begin with, it will almost completely recover its crispness.  I don't fry chicken without breading very often, but more often than not, if I do, that's the method I go with.

 

Always make sure the skin of the chicken is completely free of moisture before cooking. 

 

Finishing skin side down is a good idea. Besides the obvious method of starting bottom down, you can start skin side down, cook the skin to whatever degree of doneness, finish cooking on the bottom, then turn the chicken one more time to "refresh" the skin.  Nothing wrong with that, either.

 

The torch is pretty much reserved for smoked chicken.  The low temperatures make skin flaccid and soggy, and the alternatives are brining and cooking them to get "bite through" skin, or hitting them with some serious fire.  You've gotta love a little danger with your cooking.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 10/24/10 at 5:06pm
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

The problem is moisture.  Whether or not you're adequately drying your chicken to begin with is one issue.

 

Another, is that there's a humid area over the frying pan when you cook and the cooked skin softens from the humidity and from moisture rising up through the chicken as it cooks. 

 

Usually, if you allow the chicken to rest a couple of minutes after cooking, and if the skin was well dried to begin with, it will almost completey recover its crispness. 

 

There's no need to roast or bake your chicken to get crisp skin.  Other people have managed with frying pans -- and you can too.

 

Always make sure the skin of the chicken is completely free of moisture before cooking. 

 

Finishing skin side down is a good idea. Besides the obvious method of starting bottom down, you can start skin side down, cook the skin to whatever degree of doneness, finish cooking on the bottom, then turn the chicken one more time to "refresh" the skin.  Nothign wrong with that, either.

 

BDL


Thanks! I didn't dry the skin, will try that next time.

 

I was always told presentation side first, seems like that doesn't apply in this case.

post #7 of 26

Presentation side first is a good rule of thumb.  But you have to go with whatever works. BTW, I edited my post, you might want to take a look at it since it changed.

 

BDL

post #8 of 26

 i think maybe the evoo might be the problem because it has such a low smoke point you usually will burn the food on the outside before the inside is anywhere even close to being done if sauteing... sometimes i cook chicken in a really hot oven after an herb and olive oil bath, after you have browned them...they seem to like that... you could always finish them on a grill too if you have it fired up for other stuff, like your veggies, or bread, just to get that really great carconogenic thing going on...i almost always use boneless thighs, cuz, why have to fight a chicken bone or unless you are roasting the thighs, i don't think they really add any extra flavor and they cook faster as well. different strokes, i guess...

joey


Edited by durangojo - 10/25/10 at 4:49am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #9 of 26

After reading this thread earlier, I did decide to try something.  I went and bought some bone in, skin on thighs at the market.

 

What I did:

 

Rinse and dry the thighs, let them sit out for about 10 minutes to assist with drying [1]

 

Lightly rubbed them with olive oil, both sides, a modest bit of salt and black pepper to season

 

Browned them skin side down in a cast iron skillet, medium high heat for about 5 minutes.

 

Turned them, another 4 minutes or so.

 

Put the skillet into a 400 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

 

Removed the thighs from the skillet, put them on a plate and kept them warm in the turned off oven.

 

Poured off about half the pan drippings,softened about 3 -4 tablespoons of minced shallot in what remained.  Deglazed with about 1/2 cup each of dry white wine and chicken stock, added some dried oregano and rosemary.  Reduced for maybe 5 - 6 minutes.  Removed from heat, whisked in about a tablespoon of unsalted butter.  Served the thighs on top of a puddle of the pan reduction.

 

It was quite tasty.

 

chix.jpg

 

The asparagus was lightly fried in browned butter with a dash of soy sauce, the fresh tomatoes topped with a few small chunks of fresh mozz.

 

As far as the skin goes the biggest compliment was that my wife ate ALL of hers.  She usually picks it off, not a big fan of chicken skin.  But this batch was tasty.  In truth I should have gone another minute or two to brown up the skin a bit more in the first step, but I was thinking the oven time would do the trick.  It didn't turn out as brown and crispy as I would have liked, but it WAS still fairly crispy.  I would say that the dry heat of the oven was a factor in keeping the skin from getting soggy as the chicken finished cooking.

 

I will most certainly use this method again in the near future.  That pan sauce was the best I've made in weeks, yum!

 

mjb.

 

1.  In general I don't like to keep poultry sitting out at room temp, but don't see 10 - 15 minutes as a problem.

 

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post

After reading this thread earlier, I did decide to try something.  I went and bought some bone in, skin on thighs at the market.

 

What I did:

 

Rinse and dry the thighs, let them sit out for about 10 minutes to assist with drying [1]

 

Lightly rubbed them with olive oil, both sides, a modest bit of salt and black pepper to season

 

Browned them skin side down in a cast iron skillet, medium high heat for about 5 minutes.

 

Turned them, another 4 minutes or so.

 

Put the skillet into a 400 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

 

Removed the thighs from the skillet, put them on a plate and kept them warm in the turned off oven.

 

Poured off about half the pan drippings,softened about 3 -4 tablespoons of minced shallot in what remained.  Deglazed with about 1/2 cup each of dry white wine and chicken stock, added some dried oregano and rosemary.  Reduced for maybe 5 - 6 minutes.  Removed from heat, whisked in about a tablespoon of unsalted butter.  Served the thighs on top of a puddle of the pan reduction.

 

It was quite tasty.

 

chix.jpg

 

The asparagus was lightly fried in browned butter with a dash of soy sauce, the fresh tomatoes topped with a few small chunks of fresh mozz.

 

As far as the skin goes the biggest compliment was that my wife ate ALL of hers.  She usually picks it off, not a big fan of chicken skin.  But this batch was tasty.  In truth I should have gone another minute or two to brown up the skin a bit more in the first step, but I was thinking the oven time would do the trick.  It didn't turn out as brown and crispy as I would have liked, but it WAS still fairly crispy.  I would say that the dry heat of the oven was a factor in keeping the skin from getting soggy as the chicken finished cooking.

 

I will most certainly use this method again in the near future.  That pan sauce was the best I've made in weeks, yum!

 

mjb.

 

1.  In general I don't like to keep poultry sitting out at room temp, but don't see 10 - 15 minutes as a problem.

 



Thanks!  Will try your method, looks awesome!!


Edited by abefroman - 10/24/10 at 8:45pm
post #11 of 26

Nice plate!

Another simple trick to dry chicken properly before roasting it, is to take the chicken out of it's package and put it back, uncovered, in the coldest spot of your fridge. The cold dries it out very fast and more efficiently. Works for entire chicken or parts.

post #12 of 26

would you like me to comment on your plate presentation? i'll let you digest your meal first.....the china is nice...just curious, what happened to the first batch of thighs?

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

would you like me to comment on your plate presentation? i'll let you digest your meal first.....the china is nice...just curious, what happened to the first batch of thighs?

joey



That sounds needlessly harsh. Of course text is hard to parse the emotional state from so it might just be my mood.

 

One can be constructive without the derision. Remember as well, this is a home meal by a non-pro to satisfy his eye and desires.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #14 of 26

How was it harsh, Phil? All I got out of Joey's post was a desire to be helpful. Notice she asked, first, if her help was wanted.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #15 of 26

Check your PMs please.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 

I thought the plating was pretty good.  Maybe he wants to compliment you.

post #17 of 26

phatch,

there is no need to read anything destructive into my post...there is absolutely no intent of malice...just a suggestion to make the food look better...when you work so hard on a dish,which obviously he did, sometimes someone else's eye can be helpful... just a few different placements or angles of the food will elicit an Mmmmmmm, instead of just an Hmmmmmmm... perhaps a simple garnish...it was meant as constructive criticism, nothing more.....i have worked with chefs that when either of us got the same app order, we would plate it totally differently...its the nuances and the 'devil is in the details', as always.... fwiw, i thought the individual foods looked great, but would look even greater if it were tweaked a bit on the plate.. we are like an artist with an empty canvas.... the references to the china was very 'tongue and cheek',and meant to be funny...oh well....even though the op is not a pro, when is it too early to learn?

joey

oh, sorry teamfat...i mistook the op as you,so got mixed up that there were 2 batches of thighs cooked...also, just a suggestion....you could lightly dredge the thighs in seasoned flour before frying...think fried chicken!!....

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #18 of 26

I'd love to hear what's wrong with the presentation.  The only big issue I see is that it wasn't MY plate smile.gif.  Perhaps the asparagus should point the other direction, but I consider that to be unimportant.  Is there a resource guide on "presentation"?  (Sadly, I'm being serious).

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobblygook View Post

I'd love to hear what's wrong with the presentation.  The only big issue I see is that it wasn't MY plate smile.gif.  Perhaps the asparagus should point the other direction, but I consider that to be unimportant.  Is there a resource guide on "presentation"?  (Sadly, I'm being serious).

My "interpretation" is not "what is wrong" but more on the order of "you might try this to make it better". BTWDIK
 

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post #20 of 26

Thanks, Pete. You beat me to it.

 

Why do people insist on thinking that these sorts of things are right or wrong, rather than just being different interpretations?

 

Most of us grew up with meals being served as a meat and two, or a meat and three, just like that picture. But there are other, perhaps more aesthetically pleasing, ways to plate those items. Doesn't make one right and the other wrong by a long shot.

 

BTW, what, please, is BTWDIK?

 

Is there a resource guide on "presentation"? 

 

Gobblygook, the best resource is your own eyes, head, and gut.

 

Look at the food porn in upscale cookbooks, and the way it's plated on shows like Iron Chef. In each case, ask yourself 1. do you like or dislike that presentation, and 2. why do you react that way. Try to interpret the reasons the food was styled that way, as opposed to another. Pay particular attention to things like apparent movement, balance, color, and shape. How does the food relate to negative space on the plate? Why is it stacked instead of being laid flat? How come professionals eschew the plate-in-thirds presentation as seen in Teamfat's presentation? Why are professionals more likely to use plain (particularly white) serviceware than patterned?

 

Keep in mind that plating techniques and presentations come in and out of fashion. It could be that something you saw is merely following fashion, rather than being pleasing for its own sake. That, too, should be part of your interpretation; just because something is "in," doesn't mean it actually works.

 

As you interpret these things, try and incorporate them into your own plating. Pretty soon, quicker than you may think, you'll be plating like a pro.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #21 of 26

BTWDIK = But what do I know?

 

Dividing a plate into thirds is a very home made, old fashioned, and "naive" presentation.  Putting it that way sounds harsh, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with it; it's how most of us eat most of the time. If however  you want the food to appear sophisticated -- you're entertaining, for instance -- there are other ways to do things. 

 

Here are some ideas that are all related to basic principles.  It's worth repeating, no one's saying anyone did anything wrong.  Just, that there are different ways.

 

Think of a plate as having one star and a supporting cast.  Space according to billing.  The star gets top billing and should not only take the most space, but should also control the center even if it doesn't occupy it completely.   

 

"Negative space" makes things look a lot more appetizing.  Even though this particular plate had only a single piece of chicken it was was overcrowded and overloaded.     

 

Tomatoes and asparagus aren't usually a visually appealing combination.  Plating either the tomatoes, the asparagus, or both separately would have done a world of good. 

 

On any plate, the tomatoes would have looked much better had they been shingled rather than layed out separately,  The cheese should have been in balls, coins or half coins, rather than cubes.  Some herbs would have helped them immensely, a little oil, balsamic, and crunchy salt crystals wouldn't hurt either.  If you're going to make a Caprese, don't apologize just make the frikkin' Caprese.

 

Asparagus is usually best served on the side, often as a separate course.  It would have helped to have a lemon butterfly as garnish, and a lemon wedge as well for the diner to use as seasoning. 

 

However, everything else being equal it would probably be better to have the Caprese on the side, and the asparagus stalks and their lemon with the chicken.  Why?  Because you could dress the Caprese and not have it conflict with the chicken's sauce, nor have the Caprese's basil over-emphasize the asparagus's color; and because the asparagus's lemon would compliment the chicken.

 

Don't put all the sauce underneath the protein on a divided plate.  That kind of puddling usually doesn't work visually or to the diner's convenience unless the sauce is very loose and covers the entire plate.  Rather, cover an edge of the chicken of the with sauce, and have the rest puddling off to one side or the center.  As it is, you're apologizing for the sauce and making it difficult to use by hiding it. 

 

BDL

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

would you like me to comment on your plate presentation? i'll let you digest your meal first.....the china is nice.



Gee, I didn't mean for this discussion about chicken skin to get into a food styling discussion.  I wasn't actually planning on including a picture, but when my wife heard about how the meal was inspired by a ChefTalk discussion she suggested I take a snapshot.  I did, with no real attempt at plating design.  It was indeed the basic, rustic plate of three.  And yes, that plate is quite, uh, nice.  Actually we no longer have enough matching real plates for a dinner of 6.  Maybe I'll start shopping for china, look for upcoming Christmas deals.

 

And normally I wouldn't just plop the chicken on a puddle, there would be sauce on top.  But this thread IS about chicken skin, so I wanted to make sure the chicken skin was visible.  And that was about the extent of the thought that went into the plating design.

 

mjb.

 

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #23 of 26

Gone,

 

I know.  I soooooooo totally suck.

 

It was a hijack, but since so many people have questions and the subject came up it was a good opportunity to talk about it.  You and your plate were fine.

 

BDL 

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobblygook View Post

I'd love to hear what's wrong with the presentation.  The only big issue I see is that it wasn't MY plate smile.gif.  Perhaps the asparagus should point the other direction, but I consider that to be unimportant.  Is there a resource guide on "presentation"?  (Sadly, I'm being serious).


what is wrong with the presentation?  absolutely nothing!  if six of us plated that dinner, we would have six very different looking plates. gosh, i can think of six different ways myself.....no wrong or right here, just difference...viva la differance!, said the farmer as he kissed his cow!!!...ending a bit philosophically, why is it that as humans we have the perception that things either happen "to" us or "for "us?

joey

teamfat, as far as getting new china i find my best treasures in thrift stores. if you have one in your town attached to an animal shelter,so much the better... its like an antique shop without the price tag...i love dishes, especially old dishes..i don't like matching dishes...way too ward and june for me...i amuse myself by wondering what kind of people ate off the plates, and what was served on them, who cooked etc...i just found 4 beautiful abstractly hand painted dinner plates from denmark for 2 bucks....can't beat that price, and its much more fun than taking something out of a 'big box store' box


Edited by durangojo - 10/26/10 at 8:05am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #25 of 26

I like the idea of the thrift store plates, could be some fun shopping.  I started the 'That looks good enough to eat' topic for further discussions on plating.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #26 of 26

I want to try these recipe, thanks for the post.

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