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Sep 30, 2007 07:23 AM

Weird livery substance on back of chicken thighs.

I've noticed, especially when eating crispy fried chicken thighs, on the back of the thigh, not the front, meaty part, but the bony back part which gets quite crispy as well, there is a thing under some bones that break off revealing a small, wrinkly thing that tastes like liver. Has anyone else noticed this and/or knows what this is? It may even be part of the chicken back attached to the thigh or something,


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  1. I think it is made up of blood that seeps out during cooking. I kind of like it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Eric in NJ

      Agree. I think it's blood as well that caught in the crevices.

    2. It is some kind of organ - I used to think it was kidney, but those are the odd bean-shaped things. Whatever it is, I got brave enough to eat it back when I was a kid and have been doing it ever since. Spleen, maybe?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Will Owen

        an avian kidney doesn't look at all like our kidney. so those bean things aren't the kidney in a chicken carcass - I don't think

      2. Mmmm.. I love that little thing. Always on the thighs from Juan Pollo.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Oh Robin

          Hmmm. I guess it could be blood. I always thought is was some kink of organ or gland, since it is livery. I still like it, tho!!!
          Do you think it might be bone marrow, from all the little bones around it?

          1. re: mwerkharder

            No because it holds it's shape. I think it's a main vein or artery.

            1. re: Oh Robin

              It's not blood or leaked-out marrow. If you butcher a whole chicken you'll notice that there are small glands right inside the thigh, where you specify. And they're present in both halal and kosher thighs (in which the blood is drained). Given its location, could they be the ovaries? I thought maybe the adrenal glands, but there is no layer of protective fat as would be expected.

          1. That thing is kidney. In birds the kidneys are longer and thinner than in mammals. They are tucked into crevices along each side of the spine near where it meets the pelvis/hip. That's why when a piece of hip/spine is left connected to the thigh it often contains this piece of kidney.