Do you cringe at flabby and tough chicken skin? Sometimes in competition and home cooking chicken skin can be undesirable because of the texture. Competitors go to great length to remedy this chicken tragedy. Cooking at low and slow temperatures just does not crisp up the skin properly. We have purchased a meat tenderizer that has fifty six very sharp blades to pierce said chicken skin. The theory behind this madness is; piercing the skin in multiple locations will allow the fat to render through out the holes to allow skin to crisp. We are going to give this a try.
Warning these fifty six needle blades are sharp. Just ask Ms. Goofy who took one for the team while washing this contraption. She is okay, sporting a fresh bandaged and a sore finger. We took the tenderizer and punctured the skin of trimmed chicken thighs. This machine worked like a charm with very little effort. The very very sharp needles went right through the skin and possibly into the meat. We left several thighs un-punctured for test purposes. We cooked the seasoned thighs in an indirect fire in a covered kettle. We used a fairly high heat of about 300 degrees. We used the higher heat because we were impatient for dinner. They were cooked to about 170 degree internal temperature and then were sauced. They all looked fantastic.
You could see a visible difference in the tenderized thighs. The skin had shrunk slightly more than the unaltered thighs. We sampled the two differently prepared thighs. The tenderized chicken had a slightly crisper chicken skin, but, it was not perfectly bite through. The taste was excellent from the cooking method, seasoning and sauce. The unaltered thigh tasted good but the skin was flabby and tough. Overall this was a partial success. The tenderizing fifty six blade machine did have an effect with the texture of our finished product. It was not perfect. Combine this with other competition chicken cooking techniques and you will have that perfect bite through skin. There always is the old fashion method of cooking chicken directly over the fire and you will have crispy charred bite through skin. It sure is fun tasting our research.