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Nasty chicken legs

I love a bargain. So when my favourite Asian market had boneless, skinless chicken LEGS on sale last week for a ridiculous price I visualized tender, dark-ish meat falling off the bone (even though there would be no bone).... So I bought a bunch of them. As I was separating them for freezing, they were kind of grossing me out.... gnarly bits, cartilage, gobs of fat, arteries and tendons... What the heck was going on?? I'm almost surprised I didn't find a claw or feather in there somewhere. I'm not a princess (even though I will NEVER buy fresh shrimp again - now that's a nasty and dangerous cleaning job with those sharp bits), but I wasn't anticipating a horror show just because they were on sale. Can anyone suggest a nice, civilized recipe to make these post-apocalyptic legs more appealing??? The dissection of these babies just left me a bit queasy.... And NO, I did not thoroughly remove all the lumps and bumps. Maybe I should just throw them out... Perhaps not worth the work.... p.s. I'm being a bit dramatic in order to be a bit amusing... They are just normal chicken legs, but they weren't cleaned properly, so no need to speculate if I didn't actually get real chicken legs. They're legs, just sloppy ones.

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  1. Never have I heard of BS chicken LEGS. Can you post a picture? I can't even imagine them.

    4 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      Okay, now you're scaring me. They sort of look like chicken thighs that haven't been trimmed properly; however one end does taper a bit more than a thigh so I am thinking large leg... I don't think they're another chicken part... not too many parts of a chicken that I can't recognize... I suppose I'm just looking for an easy but delicious recipe where I can submerge them without having to actually touch or look at them and the nasty stuff will just magically go to chicken heaven or something. I know there are a million chicken recipes... I just don't feel like putting in any manual labour to make these chicken "pieces" more appealing.... Hope all of this is making sense.

      1. re: Moimoi

        No, no, dont' be afraid :) I just don't think that there's enough meat if you bone-out a leg. Turkey, yeah. Chicken, I don't know. Where are all these really knowledgeably folks?

        1. re: c oliver

          I don't think I've boned chicken legs at 99Ranch. But at HMart (Korean) I have partially boned legs. The meat was cut from the bone, but left attached as a bundle at one end - sort of a lollypop.

          chicken lollipop video

      2. Everything you describe is what happens when you bone out the legs, although if they were thorough they'd have removed all the cartilege. They're legs - you have to expect blood vessels and connective tissue. You're just used to seeing them already cooked, and now you're getting a look at the interior when it's raw.

        You can pound them to an even thickness, flour/bread, and sautee over medium heat, or drizzle the coated pieces with oil and bake.

        You could poach them with aromatics, which would give you both broth for soupmaking, and meat for sandwiches/salads.

        You could dice them up and use them in stirfries, or grind them and season to make chicken patties or croquettes.

        4 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          You've boned chicken legs? I can't even imagine.

          1. re: c oliver

            Watched Jacques do it. In a tenth the time it took me, of course, but it's really not hard.

            1. re: c oliver

              I've done wings as well for Stuffing! Legs are a breeze in comparison.

              1. re: chefj

                Sheesh! I needed boneless, skin-on thighs in the past and the wonderful meat cutter at WF did it for me :)

          2. Do a nice slow braise for a few hours until they are tender and falling apart.


            9 Replies
            1. re: babette feasts

              For boneless legs??? That's MY hangup.

              1. re: c oliver

                Yes, but it's still leg meat and will benefit from the long cooking, maybe soften those odd bits, and fine when the meat is not in pretty pieces.

                Does chicken tikka masala sound better? This recipe calls for boneless skinless thighs -

                1. re: babette feasts

                  But thighs are WAY thicker, even boneless, than legs. I want to want this but am just not getting it. Boneless chicken legs. Talk to me, people.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Are you thinking of a "drumstick?"

                    A chicken leg (from a butcher's perspective) includes the thigh and the drumstick together.

                    At least this is my understanding.

                    1. re: cacio e pepe

                      And I think you're right! I guess in the store, those are labeled "hindquarters"? So I was thinking of the drumstick as the leg. Thanks.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Where I shop, they are called leg quarters and include a bit of rib cage that has skin but next to no flesh.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          It's the back half of the bird, split in 2. One of the cheaper cuts.

                      2. re: cacio e pepe

                        Aren't legs and drumsticks the same thing? Now I feel stupid...

                        1. re: Moimoi

                          They can be. But leg can refer to the thigh plus the drumstick.

              2. We get them at our local Mexican market, already marinated and ready to grill.

                1 Reply
                1. re: weezieduzzit

                  Isn't a boneless chicken leg just really, really tiny? I just can't imagine it.

                2. Surprised you didn't get the feet as well. Most Asian markets sell the whole bird, head, feet et al. They're great for making stock, very flavorful parts.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: treb

                    I've seen whole chickens with heads and feet and I've seen feet only. I never think of those whole birds as being the best - they seem rather scrawny. For stock I use feet and necks and backs.

                  2. They were boned out but not cleaned. Not a big deal to remove tendons, veins and fat. The meat is tasty so worth working for

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      Agree. I'd marinate them in oil, lemon juice, and lots of herbs, then throw on the grill. Pound sections to flatten if needed so the whole piece is about the same thickness.

                    2. Why would you buy a food product "at a ridiculous price"? You are eating it, and in order for any vendor to sell it at a"a ridiculous price" he/she has to buy it at even more cheaply. Probably the legs were low grade of processing, possibly destined for the institutional market, (meaning prisons, government programs, low end processors, etc) BTW, COSTCO sells Coleman's Organic boneless and skinless Chix Thighs and legs that are very nicely cut and trimmed, and they are very tasty. .

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ospreycove

                        Prison? Yikes! Okay, maybe "ridiculous" sounded misleading... They were definitely very cheap... maybe $1.99/lb or something... I can't even remember at this point. Purchased at Sunny Supermarket. They are a high volume Asian and middle-eastern, halal supermarket... always have great deals. I recognize that some of their meat products are not AAA grade and I accept that. If I'm looking for AAA grade, I will shop higher end.

                      2. Don't want to handle them? Stick them in the crockpot and slow-cook them. All those tendons and fat will soften up and dissolve away and you'll be left with gorgeous broth.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kajikit

                          I guess I can get a little queazy with chicken meat at times... I have a friend who is an outstanding cook but she has a serious aversion to touching raw meat and even uses special rubber gloves... The packaging of course showed the beautiful, plump chicken meat, all clean and skinless... So when I opened it up and saw all the less attractive chicken bits tucked underneath I didn't have the stomach or motivation to deal with it. Posters have made some excellent suggestions. I was also looking at a Mexican Black Bean Chicken type soup... Food Basics has beautiful boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale right now for $3.44/lb... Might wait a bit on my ugly chicken legs and do a boneless chicken wing recipe today... nothing more than a new-fangled chicken nugget type theme... Looks yummy though... I'll probably get my wrist slapped for going off-topic on my own post, but here's a link... http://blogchef.net/how-to-make-bonel...

                        2. There are Youtube recipes showing how to debone the whole chicken leg - I could never do it after several failed attempts. But chicken thighs, I can knock those out super fast.

                          It sounds like you have the whole leg, but if it were just chicken thighs, there is really only one spot that you have to look out for for cartilage, at the top of the thigh right where the joint of the bone would have been connected. As tough as the cartilage is, it's very easy for a knife to go through it, as you are scraping along the bone to debone it. So you have to remember to go back and cut out that tough bit as well.

                          The drumsticks are worse than the thighs imo, in terms of veins and cartilage and other stuff. Chicken thighs are easy to clean up, you can even use some kitchen shears to snip off the unappetizing bits.

                          1. If you are grossed out by the unappetizing bits, I would consider slow cooking or pressure cooking them, then shredding the chicken while picking out the parts you like and discarding what you don't.

                            The shredded meat works perfectly as a taco filling or in soups or even pulled bbq chicken.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Atomic76

                              Shredding! I like it!!! This way I can also avoid the fat and gnarly bits. My slow cooker is too big however for this exercise... Would you say to maybe wrap in foil and just bake??? I think I've learned a bit of a lesson here. Maybe stick to thighs for dark meat and boneless, skinless breasts for my lower cal/fat choice.