Thursday, April 12, 2018

Refrigerator dried chicken thigh 冷蔵庫で乾燥の鳥腿

I learned from my own trial and error that drying salmon fillets in the refrigerator for a few days, after salting, before cooking, made for a wonderful crispy skin and flavor. The drying also reduced the messy splatter when the salmon was cooked. I have been doing this for some time when we have salmon. Recently, I read the same technique could be used to dry chicken thighs in the refrigerator before cooking. I thought, 'why didn't I think of  this myself since I had been doing the same thing with salmon?' So, we tried it. I dried the chicken thighs for two days and cooked them in a frying pan and served them with spaetzle my wife had made and green beans sautéed in butter.

Certainly, it is easier to get crispy skin.

Ingredients :
4 chicken thighs, deboned, thickest portion cut open to make even thickness, salted and dried for 2 days in the refrigerator uncovered with skin side up. The picture below shows what they looked like after drying 2 days in the refrigerator.

In a non-stick frying pan, I started cooking the skin side down first. I placed a slightly smaller iron skillet (the bottom covered with aluminum foil) on the top to weigh them down on medium low flame. The heat rendered the fat after a few minutes. I mopped up the excess fat with paper towels and continued cooking until the skin was crispy. (This is necessary otherwise the fat steams the skin and it will get soggy not crisp.)
I turned the thighs over and finished cooking on the other side.

This results in pretty good chicken with crispy skin but the effect is not as good as with salmon. I can get similarly crispy skin using the weighing-down method without the drying. Also, drying concentrates the "chicken" flavor of the meat. This strong chicken flavor is an individual preference and we did not particularly like it. So, the idea sounded really good and while the results are great with salmon they were not worth the effort for chicken in our opinion.

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