How to keep the skin crisp on chicken theighs?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by abefroman, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. abefroman

    abefroman

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    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
     
  2. teamfat

    teamfat

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    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.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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

    babytiger

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    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.
     
  5. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    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
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  6. abefroman

    abefroman

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    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.
     
  7. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    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
     
  8. durangojo

    durangojo

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     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
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  9. teamfat

    teamfat

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  10. abefroman

    abefroman

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    Thanks!  Will try your method, looks awesome!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  11. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  12. durangojo

    durangojo

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    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
     
  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  14. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    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.
     
  15. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Check your PMs please.
     
  16. abefroman

    abefroman

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

    durangojo

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    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!!....
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  18. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    I'd love to hear what's wrong with the presentation.  The only big issue I see is that it wasn't MY plate /img/vbsmilies/smilies//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).
     
  19. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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

    kyheirloomer

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    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.