Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >
Jun 29, 2011 04:44 AM

Trader Joe's chicken thighs

One of the best things to come to kosher kitchen's this millennium (chocolate arrived last millennium) are the skinless, boneless chicken thighs at Trader Joe's. 1.) they are cheap 2.) they are easy and 3.) they taste so much better than chicken breast meat.

Seriously, do a taste test. The meat in a thigh is much more flavorful. And since Trader Joe has spent all morning skinning and boning them, they are low-fat and easy to prepare.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. it's tastier because the thigh is fattier than breast meat. Yes, skinless makes them a bit more low-fat, but the dark is still fattier than the white meat

    3 Replies
    1. re: berel

      True. But the difference is small, since most of the fat is in the skin.

      Thighs are, however, more flavorful.

      Plus they have just enough tenderness to be wonderful in a zero fat sauce. This is great for dieters, since a little chicken stewed with a lot of vegetables makes a hearty, low-calorie meal.

      And it is particularly good news for Shabbos, since they can be simmered in any sauce for Friday dinner, including zero fat sauces (tomato with herbs) and will also make a delicious cholent with no or very little added fat or oil. You would have to add quite a bit of oil to get a good-tasting cholent form breast meat. Breast meat can taste pretty dry. Thighs and breasts work for different dishes. The great thing about Trader Joe's, is that they routinely sell the Empire skinless, boneless thighs. Many stores do not carry them.

      1. re: AdinaA

        Completely agree with the OP. I grew up treif and skinless, boneless thighs were a staple. Having them in my repertoire again is FANTASTIC.

        For simple deliciousness, I like to butterfly them and grill them on medium-high with salt, pepper, and powdered garlic. Two weeks ago I made a great arroz con pollo with half the thighs and half the breasts and it made a huge difference from just breasts.

      2. re: berel

        Thighs are also tastier because it's a different muscle type, has more connective tissue, a greater amount of it closer to the bone, and is more forgiving when cooking (i.e. less likely to dry out).

      3. what supervision are they under? what label are they under (trader joe's, empire)

        10 Replies
          1. re: AdinaA

            i am confused, you wrote "And since Trader Joe has spent all morning skinning and boning them, they are low-fat and easy to prepare." but they are empire?

            1. re: koshergourmetmart

              They are Empire-branded. But it is curious that this product is not on the Empire website.

              1. re: koshergourmetmart

                I was being flippant, or allegorical. I apologize. I should have stated that they are in the familiar green Empire package and come from Mifflintown. There is nothing unusual about the Empire packaging and Trader Joe doesn't seem to have skinned, boned or plucked them personally.

                I don't see them elsewhere. So it is possible that Trader Joe's contracts with Empire to produce them. I've never asked.

                They freeze well. While you're stocking up you should also pick up some of the Trader's Star-K extra premium olive oil. I understand that Trader Joe flies to Greece every year for the harvest, where he hand picks the olives and presses them in a donkey-driven, stone-cut olive press, on a terraced hillside, in Kalamata. ;-)

                1. re: AdinaA

                  It's possible to buy them in bulk ( so you're probably right that TJs contracts with them for retail.

                  1. re: DeisCane

                    Interesting, thanks. Trader Joe's is a remarkable business model. Now you've got me wondering who makes their fabulous and remarkably inexpensive feta cheese.

                  2. re: AdinaA

                    what's the price per pound? I want to compare to empire thighs with the skin sold elsewhere. How hard is it to pull the skin off the thighs? I've easily taken the skin off whole legs.

                    1. re: berel

                      Take note: it's skinless AND boneless.

                      They are priced at 5.99/lb at the TJs in Millburn, iirc. Chicken thighs (with back portion) are 2.79 from Fresh Direct, 2.99 at most markets. It's not a bargain but when you take out the weight of the bones, it's not a big difference.

                      1. re: DeisCane

                        For those in the KGH area, Aron's generally has skinless, boneless thighs (often called pargiot), and I seem to recall them being in the same price range. Don't get me wrong . . . I am a big TJ's fan (will be there within a day or two, most likely), but Aron's may be closer and easier to get to for many reading this.

                      2. re: berel

                        Berel, It's not hard to pull the skin off, but these are also boneLESS. I'm happy to let my 14 year old daughter cook these, and would let her pull skin, but I don't want her using a boning knife without my close supervision. Also, these are trimmed with far less fat than the on the bone thighs.
                        You are paying for the labor and convenience. Also the pieces tend to be uniform size.

              2. Supersol / Seasons on the UWS is now carrying its own label of skinless, boneless chicken thighs. They are higher priced, but they do not have bits of chicken bone and knuckle as often as Trader Joe's boneless thighs do.

                1. Here's a tip: Penzey's makes an Ozark Seasoning spice ("Hand-mixed from: salt, black pepper, sage, garlic, thyme, papika, regular mustard, ancho chili, celery seed, cayenne, dillweed, dillseed, caraway seed, allspice, ginger, cardamom, bay leaves, mace, china cinnamon, savory & cloves").

                  Sprinkle some on the thighs and broil. Real good.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    Any chance that Penzey's Spices now have kosher supervision? Or, is there an equivalent with supervision?

                    1. re: robocop

                      I wrote to their customer relations last month about making their products kosher and they said they were looking into it. Don't know if that was a PC answer or the truth. As far as all the above posts about the cost of the TJ's chicken thighs are concerned. I purchased chicken thighs with bone and skin from Costco and did the work myself. I weighed out the finished product and the price per pound of the fillets came within 50 cents of Trader Joe's price. I concluded they could have the mess and I was willing to pay for the convenience.

                      1. re: robocop

                        Ah, yeah, no, sorry. Should have thought of that before chiming in.