Blood in chicken thiegh, is it done?

Joined Apr 23, 2011
Hello Abe. Generally [in my opinion] if there is actual oozing of bright cherry red chicken blood coming from the bird I would say the bird is cooked but the blood is not.  [this can be the case even  if your breast or thighs are reaching 165]  This can sometimes be remidied by actually taking a knife and severing the femoral artery that runs along the bigger bone in the chicken thigh before cooking the bird. This will allow the artery to bleed out while the bird is cooking, meaning you don't have to cook the chicken as long and dry it out while waiting for the juices to "run clear" from the thighs. Sometimes this will work, nonetheless it is a good habit to prepare your chicken like this before you roast or fry it.  Then there is another kitchen phenomina that brings back nightmares of the customer  who sends his roasted chicken back three times claiming the thigh is not cooked because there is a tinge of red on the bone because  it sometimes stays a rosy pink. If somebody has a remidy for that problem [besides using a blow torch,deep fryer, or a screaming hot saute' pan]  I would like to know.

Joined Feb 3, 2011
I watched a really interesting show the other day that suggested you 

1. Never bake a chook that isn't at least 4*C (not sure on F)

2. Cook the legs first till golden brown ie. cover the breast.

3. Cover the legs then back to the oven to do the breast (no more than 25 min)

4. Cover well and rest it for (at least) 40 min - 1 hr before carving and eating.  After 1 hr residual heat falls dramatically and isn't ideal.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Abe;  Chef Billy and myself went over this in various post monthes ago.  When you cook the bird to 165 you are killing 99 % of all occuring bacteria and the bird is by all definition cooked.

     However in this age of factory farming where the birds are force fed and slaughtered  2 to 3 weeks faster then they used to be (this saves feed money for farmer) the young birds bones do not have time to mature.Therefore even if you cook to 180 the bone will still be red at the joints. The older the bird the darker the joint This does not mean it is not fully cooked. It is hard to explain to a customer. Try and buy your chickens from a reliable source if possible.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Ed, I believe you're talking two different phenomonon.

Cooking does, indeed, occur at 165F. At that point, cells undergo permanent, irreversible changes to their structure, and other changes take place (i.e., gelitiniazation of proteins, enzymatic shifts, etc.).

This is why dehydrating is always done at lower temperatures, for instance. If you dry something at 165F or higher it won't rehydrate.

Destroying bacteria, on the other hand, requires higher temperatures. According to CDC, for instance, sustained temperatures of 175F are required. Which, obviously, is why pasturization is done at the higher point.

Abe, to answer question: While chicken is technically cooked at 165F, most people would consider it rare (or even raw) at that point. What we have is the difference between the science of cooking, and the perceptions of the diner. For me, the second of those is the important one. I would never serve chicken that was running red fluids.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
but ed is right about the redness in modern cooked 'til'done chix coming from immature bones. 

And you're right, it is an issue for service with the poor diner not understanding food safety and the ramifications of our food industry.

But to abe's question, it is food safe. Buying boneless thighs is one way to resolve the issue when serving others.  And it's a  highly versatile piece of chicken as well..
Joined May 24, 2009
KY I've got to agree with ed here, if you are taking your chicken to and internal temperature to 175 to kill bacteria you are overcooking and your chicken is probably no more safe.

Being familiar with chefed and his conventional ways I doubt that he's cooking sous vide which means that he's talking about cooking in some method where the chicken are subjected to a temperature higher than 165.  As we all know by the time you have 165 inside the bird, you've undoubtedly have the 175 needed for full pasturization on the surface.  Salmonella like other bacteria are found on the surface of the meat where the higher temperatures will kill them.  In Japan you can enjoy toriwasa which is essentially raw chicken that has been briefly cooked to kill any bacteria.  This is generally deemed as safe as eating raw eggs on which many of us roll the dice on a regular basis with mayo and ceasar dressing.  If we were talking about something with ground chicken obviously that's a different story.

Ed, I've never heard that explaination before but it does make sense.  I've never worked in a place that would serve chicken with bones but If I ever do I know what to say now.
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
In any event I am not talking  red liquids or blood here dripping out.  I am talking about the color around the bone joints which I have found still to be reddish at 180. Benway you are corect in to hit 165 internal outside temp will be higher. In addition in most cases when the bird comes out of oven the temp will go up, but then cools and sets.Thats why nothing should be carved  when you first remove from heat.
Joined Sep 18, 2008
FWIW, I've had Coq au Vin with reddish spots next to joints/bones, even after 2-2 1/2 hours of braising and definitely well above 165°F
Joined Feb 3, 2011
The birds are handled roughly before they are put onto the killing conveyor. Although it doesn't really fit with what you are discussing, but you can see red>>>>>dark red where their bones have been broken. I remember watching a short doco that Pam Anderson did. It was pretty rough stuff.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
If anyone interested in the food industry wants a quick education, I suggest if possible visit a factory farm for either chix, eggs, cattle or pigs it's mind bogling.

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