Meet the fabricator

No, not [that]( kind of fabricator.

Last night I was making a recipe (a streamlined coq au vin from [Cook’s Illustrated]( calling for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are one of my favorite ingredients. In their bone-in, skin-on form, they require almost no prep and you can marinate and roast them or brown them and make a stew. The boneless ones are easy to slice for enchilada filling or stir-fry, or grind to make meatballs. And they’re required for chicken satay.

Naturally, QFC was out of boneless thighs. They carry four different brands and were out of all of them. Was there a run on chicken thighs? The great chicken thigh panic of 2007? I thought about making something else for dinner, but I had coq au vin on my mind and most of the rest of the ingredients in my fridge.

Then I realized: hey, who is the cook here? They had bone-in thighs. I bought eight of those and steeled my boning knife. I had my boneless, skinless thighs before the wine was done reducing for the braising liquid, plus a snack of crispy chicken skin while no one was looking. By the time I boned the last one, I was pretty good at it.

For turning drudgery into a hobby, this sets a new standard.

**Historical note:** My band Cat Piss Lint Trap had a song called “Boning the Chicken” in 1996.

2 thoughts on “Meet the fabricator

  1. Anita

    Not to mention, now you have some more bones for your stockpot. :)

    We’re on a locavore kick, and of course the only local chickens we can get are only sold whole (with heads and claws on — eek — but thankfully gutted and plucked). I’m positively swooning at the idea of chicken already parted out. :D I haven’t had pre-cut chicken in months, and it sounds really, really decadent!

  2. mamster Post author

    Anita, I have a question for you. I know how to cut up a whole chicken, but I think the reason I rarely do it is that I don’t have a cutting board big enough to do it comfortably. What do you cut your chickens on, and what are its approximate dimensions?

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