A Chicken Thighs Primer – All About This Versatile Piece of Poultry!
Have you ever heard of a chicken thigh? Never fear, you are in the right place! This article is a brief introduction to chicken thighs and what makes them so popular. You will learn the basics of chicken thighs, understand their nutritional value, and see some of the delicious ways to prepare chicken thighs. By the end of this guide, you will be ready to add these tasty pieces of poultry to your mealtime rotation.
So, what exactly is a chicken thigh? Chicken thighs are often referred to as “dark meat” because they have more of the flavor that comes from the fat and connective tissue. They come from the upper part of a chicken’s leg, where the muscle gets the most exercise. This makes them juicy, tender and full of flavor. They are usually relatively inexpensive and can usually be found in the grocery store either fresh or frozen. In most cases, you can buy them skin on if you like it crispy or you can buy them deboned and skinless if you want to avoid the fat.
The great thing about chicken thighs is their versatility. They can be roasted, grilled, baked, fried, sautéed, and even put in soups and stews. You can season them any way you like, whether it’s a simple marinade or a complex rub. You can also stuff them with flavorful ingredients like cheese, ham, and mushrooms. Chicken thighs are incredibly resilient, so no matter what method of cooking you choose they will remain juicy and flavorful.
Nutritionally, chicken thighs are a great source of protein. A 100-gram serving of cooked chicken thighs provides around 20-22 grams of protein. They are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, and B vitamins. They contain roughly 11 grams of fat per serving, which is mostly healthy unsaturated fat.
When it comes to preparing chicken thighs, the options are endless. If you want an easy meal in a jiffy you can throw them in the oven to bake. Simply preheat the oven to 375°F, season the thighs with your favorite herbs and spices, and bake for 30-35 minutes. If you’re in the mood for a classic fried chicken dish, you can dredge them in flour and fry in a skillet. For a tangy glaze, you can marinate them in honey, mustard, and garlic sauce.
Another popular way to cook chicken thighs is to use a slow cooker. This is a great way to get a tender and flavorful piece of chicken without much hassle. Just place the thighs in the slow cooker with some aromatics, such as garlic and onion, and let it do its thing. You can also use the slow cooker to make delicious and nutritious soups and stews.
In summary, chicken thighs are a great way to get your protein fix and enjoy a delicious meal. Whether you’re baking them in the oven, frying them in a skillet, or throwing them in a slow cooker, there is an endless array of ways to prepare them. Plus, they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, making them a great addition to any balanced diet. So next time you’re in the grocery store, pick up some chicken thighs and see what amazing recipes you can come up with!
The Journey from Chicken Thighs to a Dinner Plate
From Farm to Fork
It’s safe to say that in 2020, everyone has become much more aware of where their food comes from. As we move away from processed and pre-prepared food and embrace home cooking with fresh ingredients, the journey from farm to fork has become an area of interest for many. In this article, we take an in-depth look at the journey from chicken thighs to your dinner plate.
Having a basic understanding of the journey food takes can help us all make more informed decisions. Knowing the source of our ingredients, and the various processes of refinement that take place in order to get to our plate, can help us make sure we’re eating responsibly sourced and ethically produced meat.
From Hag to Hen
The journey of our chicken thighs begins at a hatchery. A hatchery is a facility that produces eggs and maintains the conditions required to hatch them. The female, who will become a hen, arrives at the hatchery in egg form and the process of hatching begins.
The egg is placed in an incubation chamber which maintains a consistent temperature, humidity, and ventilation levels. Depending on the type of egg, incubation typically takes between 21 to 25 days until the chick hatches. Inside the egg, the chick engages in a process called pip, which is when the bird pecks at the inside of the eggshell with its egg tooth, and breaks out of the eggshell.
Once a chick hatches, it’s placed in a brooding pen where it has access to food and water. Here, the young chick grows into a pullet, and undergoes various tests to ensure its health and suitability for production. Once it is deemed fit for performance by the hatchery, the pullet will be transported to a chicken farm.
From Pullet to Poultry
On the poultry farm, the pullet is moved from the hatchery to an open-air cage where it continues to mature until it is ready for production. Most farms raise different varieties of hens, including Cornish and White Rock. The chickens served on dinner plates usually come from one of these varieties. A Cornish hen, for example, typically weighs between 2-3 pounds and is known for its plump, juicy thighs. On the other hand, the White Rock hen is typically larger, but is skinnier and leaner.
Poultry farms take great care to provide the best conditions for their birds. The hens are kept in spacious cages and they have access to plenty of food and water. They are also provided with natural sunlight to promote healthy development and provide them with an enriching environment.
Once the birds are ready for production, they are loaded onto what’s called a “catching crew”, which consists of specially trained personnel who manually catch the birds and place them in crates which are then sent to the processing plant. The birds are transported in climate-controlled vehicles to minimise the time between catching and processing.
From Pen to Plate
At the processing plant the birds prepare for slaughter. They are unloaded from the trucks and placed in channels which lead to the stunning and killing areas. Stunning is the most commonly used method for killing poultry, and it involves administering an electric shock to the birds which renders them unconscious before they are killed. Stunning ensures the quality of the meat and ensures a quick, humane end to the life of the bird.
Once stunned, the birds are hung upside down from shackles attached to overhead conveyor belts which move them along the processing line. At the next stage, they are shackled and moved through a series of machine washes that remove any feathers, dirt, and bacteria. Following this, their necks are slit and the birds are bled out.
Once the chickens have been bled out, they are cooled and their heads are cut off. At this point, the birds are manually disjointed and a variety of products, such as thighs, breasts, and wings, are made available for purchase.
The Journey Continues
And thus, the journey of chicken thighs from farm to fork is complete. The final stage of the journey is transport to the grocery store or supermarket. Here, the thighs are distributed to buyers, who purchase them and bring them home to be cooked and served.
Though the journey may seem lengthy and complex, it is important to remember that the entire length of the journey is in place to ensure the responsible production, processing, and safe delivery of our food. Knowing where our food comes from gives us knowledge and allows us to make informed decisions when it comes to what we eat.
For those looking to enjoy delicious, ethically sourced chicken thighs on their dinner table, regardless of the journey, following the guidelines outlined in this article is a solid starting point for understanding the sources of these food items, as well as determining ways to obtain them responsibly.
|Vitamin A||0.029 mg|
|Vitamin B1||0.12 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.23 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.00572 grams|
|Vitamin B5||0.98 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.26 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.019 mg|
|Vitamin B12||0.28 ug|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Aspartic Acid||1.869 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||3.465 grams|
|Total Sugars||0.131141 grams||
|Lauric acid (12:0)||0.02 grams||
|Myristic acid (14:0)||0.1 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||2.96 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||1.24 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||4.32 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||6.01 grams||
|Palmitoleic acid (16:1)||0.56 grams||
|Gadoleic acid (20:1)||0.09 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||6.66 g|
|Omega-3 Timnodonic acid (20:5)||0.01 grams||
|Omega-3 Clupanodonic acid (22:5)||0.02 grams||
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.19 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||3.49 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||3.71 g|
|Total Sterols:||0.09 g|