3 Ways to Cut Chicken Thighs

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3 Ways to Cut Chicken Thighs
3 Ways to Cut Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are considered a "dark meat" that remains soft and juicy when cooked. As much as it is possible to prepare them with bone, boning them considerably facilitates the cut. Start by slicing around the thigh bone so that you can completely remove it. Afterwards, continue cutting the inedible parts and fractionating the meat. After cutting the thigh, cook it well until it reaches an internal temperature of 75 °C to avoid possible food poisoning.


Method 1 of 3: Boneing the thigh

Cut Chicken Thighs Step 1

Step 1. Dry raw thigh with paper towels

Dispose of chicken juices in the sink or in the trash and cover the entire thigh with paper towels, applying pressure to absorb excess liquid. Continue drying until meat is no longer sticky and slippery.

  • Drying the thighs will prevent them from sliding down the board during cutting.
  • If the raw meat is sticky, has a strong smell, or is gray in color, discard it as it has probably already spoiled.

Step 2. Cut the joint between the drumstick and the drumstick with a fillet knife, if the two parts are still connected

Use a long, thin fillet knife to cut along the bones without damaging the meat. Place the piece of chicken on a cutting board, skin side up, and fold the drumstick backwards until you see the white line of fat that follows the joint. Cut following the fat with the meat to separate the thigh from the drumstick.

  • Thighs sold as "thighs" usually have the drumsticks (also known by the English name, drumettes) together.
  • If you hit the bone with the knife, move the blade again, a little to the side, until it cuts the first time.
  • Use a very sharp knife, as a dull blade increases the chance of an accident.

Step 3. Cut through the left side of the bone with the knife

Turn the chicken leg over, leaving the skin down, and find the tip of the bone, which protrudes from the thickest part of the meat. Rest the tip of the knife against the left side of the bone and make precise, short cuts along the entire length, separating the meat. Do your best to keep the knife close to the bone, thus avoiding wasting pieces of meat.

  • Don't use too much force when cutting, or the blade may slip off the bone and cut you.
  • You don't have to bone your thigh if you don't want to!

Step 4. Pull the meat over the bone to cut the right side of the bone

Release the knife and open the cut with your hands, making the right side of the bone visible. Tap the meat to keep it in place, then insert the knife tip against the uncut side of the bone. With small, slow movements and the knife angled towards the bone, cut to remove as much of the flesh as possible. Keep cutting until you reach the other end of the bone.

As you cut the knife, continue pushing away from the bone. This way, you will be able to make very clean cuts

Step 5. Pull the bone and remove it from the thigh with a final cut

Lift the tip of the bone using your non-dominant hand and place the knife blade on the other end of the bone, still attached to the thigh. Pull the bone tightly to stretch the flesh and scrape the blade against the joint to complete the process. When you reach the end of the bone, cut off any pieces that remain attached to the meat.

  • Never cut with the knife pointing towards your fingers, or you could cut yourself in an accident.
  • Save the bones if you want to prepare a chicken stock.


Practice boning several thighs at once to get the hang of it. Wrap those you won't cook right away in aluminum foil and store them in the freezer for up to nine months.

Method 2 of 3: Cutting and Slicing Meat

Step 1. Cut off excess fat and cartilage with the knife

With the thigh skin still turned against the cutting board, to make it easier to cut, look for pieces of white fat or yellow cartilage in the chicken you prefer to remove. Pull the fat or cartilage with your non-dominant hand, making it easy to cut close to the meat with the knife. Discard leftovers when finished.

It's okay to leave a little fat on the thigh as it will cook and keep the chicken juicy

Step 2. Remove the skin with your fingers if you don't want to eat it

Turn the thigh, leaving the skin on top. Grasp the edge of the skin with your non-dominant hand and hold the meat against the board with the other hand. Pull the skin in one movement, separating it from the flesh. If the skin does not come out, pull it as far as possible and separate it from the meat using the tip of the knife.

Chicken skin is very crispy when cooked and you can leave it on if you like. It is a good idea, however, to remove excess skin at the ends of the thigh with the knife

Step 3. Make cuts to even out the thickness of the thigh

Turn the meat over on the board, again placing the skin down, and stretch the thigh so that you can analyze how thick it is. If one side is thicker than the other, cut it at a 45° angle so that the blade only goes halfway through the meat. Then pull the sides, opening the thigh and analyzing the thickness again. Keep doing this until the meat is even.

This step is optional, but it will certainly help with even cooking of the drumstick


Place the thigh on a piece of film and cover it with a layer of plastic. Beat it with the smooth side of a meat hammer, until the thickness is even.

Step 4. Divide the thigh into strips or cubes if you want smaller pieces

Place the meat flat on a cutting board to make it easier to divide. Hold it in place with your non-dominant hand and make slow, straight cuts through the meat. If you want to make strips, cut them into pieces of about 2.5 cm by 10 cm; if you want smaller pieces, cut 2.5 cm by 2.5 cm cubes.

  • If you prefer to cook the entire thigh, that's fine too!
  • Remember to disinfect or clean any surfaces that have come in contact with raw chicken to avoid bacterial contamination.

Method 3 of 3: Cooking the thighs

Step 1. Bake the thighs in the oven if you want a simple meal

Move the oven rack to the center position and preheat it to 220 °C. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place it on a baking sheet with oil. Bake for 20 minutes, then use a meat thermometer to see if the internal temperature of the meat has reached 75°C. If not, return the pan to the oven and check again after five minutes. Remove the drumstick from the oven and let it sit for ten minutes to maintain its juiciness.

  • Do not eat meat if it has an internal temperature of less than 75°C, as you run the risk of getting food poisoning.
  • The time needed to roast the thighs will depend on the thickness of the meat. The ideal is always to check the internal temperature, and not just depend on a specific time.
  • Marinade the chicken before roasting it to add more flavor to the meat.

Step 2. Seal the thighs in a hot pan to keep them juicy

Season chicken with salt and pepper before cooking. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a pan and place over high heat until it starts to heat up and smokes. Arrange the thighs in the middle of the pan and cook for five minutes to get crispy. Turn the chicken over and lower the heat to medium temperature until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 75°C.

  • If you are preparing the thighs with skin, place the skin against the pan first so that it is very crispy.
  • Experiment with different seasonings to give your chicken new flavors. For example, you can add cayenne pepper or paprika. If you prefer a touch of herbs, use oregano or basil.

Step 3. Roast thighs on the barbecue for a classic barbecue touch

Light the barbecue and let the grills reach a medium-high temperature. Brush them with olive oil to prevent the chicken from sticking, and place the thighs. Bake for five minutes and turn, roasting for another five minutes before checking the temperature.

  • Use the barbecue sauce as a marinade if you want to prepare juicy drumsticks.
  • To speed up cooking, keep the barbecue closed while roasting the thighs.

Step 4. Fry breaded chicken strips if you want them to be crispy and easy to eat

Cut thighs into 2.5 cm x 10 cm strips and soak in a buttermilk marinade for up to 24 hours to maintain juiciness. Remove excess marinade and spread chicken in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In a saucepan, heat vegetable oil to 180 °C and add four to five strips at a time. Let it fry for seven minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 75 °C.

Serve chicken strips with sauces for extra special flavor. Some good options include honey mustard, barbecue and ranch


If you are going to prepare several batches of chicken strips, keep the ones that are already cooked on a baking sheet in the oven at 120 °C.

Cut Chicken Thighs Step 14

Step 5. Add chicken and vegetable cubes on a toothpick if you want to prepare a kebab

Cut the thighs into 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm pieces so that they fit snugly on the sticks. Pierce the cubes with a wooden toothpick and slide them to the center of the skewer, alternating the chicken pieces with vegetables and vegetables of similar sizes - good options include peppers, onions and mushrooms. Place the skewers on a very hot grill and roast them for about three minutes. Then turn and bake the other side for another two or three minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 75°C.

Brush a marinade or sauce over the skewers while cooking, if you want to add more flavor to the meat


  • Do not consume chicken meat if it is not cooked to an internal temperature of 75°C, or you risk getting food poisoning.
  • Clean all surfaces that come in contact with raw chicken by washing them with soap and water or disinfectant. This way, you avoid the contamination of harmful bacteria.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself when handling the knife. Always keep fingers out of the way of the blade.

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