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Old 03-13-2007, 10:36 AM   #1
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Competition Chicken

There is always talk about Brisket, Shoulders and Ribs but rarely do we hear about chicken in competition.

Question for Competition Q'ers, what's the most common piece used for competition and how would it generally be prepared?
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:15 AM   #2
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Common piece of chicken is thighs.... many are moving to boneless thighs, for many reasons,... I 've seen legs that scored well, so don't count them out
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:45 AM   #3
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question .

when a competition has 1/2 of chicken to enter is that really 1/2 of a chicken or is it as many pecies that make up 1/2 ?

the competition i am getting in in May says 1/2 of chicken .that is why i am asking or should i call to clear that up?
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:10 PM   #4
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I'd say thighs also. Mine I marinate, rub, smoke, glaze, turn-in and hope for the call.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:13 PM   #5
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I think thighs are generally used and they are smoked and finished over direct heat to crisp the skin. I think folks use thighs for two reasons, 1. They don't dry out as fast as breasts, 2. They have the best flavor of other parts of the bird.

If you really want a challenge and to impress the judges, I'd work on getting a "moist" and "flavorful" skin on boneless breast for turn in.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knine
question .

when a competition has 1/2 of chicken to enter is that really 1/2 of a chicken or is it as many pecies that make up 1/2 ?

the competition i am getting in in May says 1/2 of chicken .that is why i am asking or should i call to clear that up?
It depends on the sanctioning body, if it's IBCA I think they want a half chicken cooked in it's entirety.
I'd find out for sure though.
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
I think thighs are generally used and they are smoked and finished over direct heat to crisp the skin. I think folks use thighs for two reasons, 1. They don't dry out as fast as breasts, 2. They have the best flavor of other parts of the bird.

If you really want a challenge and to impress the judges, I'd work on getting a "moist" and "flavorful" skin on boneless breast for turn in.
I have been able to get my breasts quite juicy and flavorfull, but I still haven't had the guts to submit it unless it was required. I won 1st place in the one contest I was in that required it by quite some margin and ended up taking GC. It was a backyard event though. I don't know If I have the guts to enter it in one of the KCBS contests I'm cooking this year.

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Old 03-13-2007, 02:18 PM   #8
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[quote=Rockin Rooster]
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Larry Wolfe":3mngr8w4
I think thighs are generally used and they are smoked and finished over direct heat to crisp the skin. I think folks use thighs for two reasons, 1. They don't dry out as fast as breasts, 2. They have the best flavor of other parts of the bird.

If you really want a challenge and to impress the judges, I'd work on getting a "moist" and "flavorful" skin on boneless breast for turn in.
I have been able to get my breasts quite juicy and flavorfull, but I still haven't had the guts to submit it unless it was required. I won 1st place in the one contest I was in that required it by quite some margin and ended up taking GC. It was a backyard event though. I don't know If I have the guts to enter it in one of the KCBS contests I'm cooking this year.

Rooster[/quote:3mngr8w4]

If it finished juicy, tender and flavorful, why not???
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Old 03-13-2007, 02:52 PM   #9
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The folks that are winning aren't turning in breasts or legs.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Rempe
The folks that are winning aren't turning in breasts or legs.
Where's your data to back that statement up Greg? Sure the majority of the teams use thighs, of course that's gonna be the prodominate winner if 9 out of 10 teams use thighs. But that's a pretty broad statement to say the "people that are winning aren't turning in breasts and legs" I suggested turning in breast because most people don't and for the "wow" factor if you get it right. Chicken is alot of teams achilles heel and it wouldn't hurt to try something different than what everyone else is turning. Again, it was just a suggestion, turn in what you want.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:22 PM   #11
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My data? Just ask the teams that win in chicken what they turn in...
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
If it finished juicy, tender and flavorful, why not???
It's something I will consider on a contest by contest basis. If the breast turns out good enough I'll consider it, but it kinda goes back to the fact you don't want to tread too far from what the judges are expecting. If you do, your are treading along a thin line between unique BBQ that leaves just enough of an impression to win favor, or leaving the judges wondering why did they do that? If I get the the juiciness and tenderness I strive for in a breast I will turn it in. The problem is at a contest you can't just babysit one catagory like you can at home.
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:46 PM   #13
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"The problem is at a contest you can't just babysit one catagory like you can at home".

why not ? if i am just going to put chicken in the contest what else do i babysit ?
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:56 PM   #14
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Most people cook thighs. Form them and pin down the skin with tooth picks to make them all look uniform in size and shape. COUNT THE TOOTH PICKS!!!

Current Pres of the KCBS told us at our judging class that people are slowly moving back to breasts. There are always "trends" in comp BBQ and the move towards breasts is the current (although slow moving) trend in chicken.

When we've had to cook 1/2 a chicken, it was always a whole 1/2 chicken.
We bought really small ones last time and put 2 halves in the box so that judges had a better chance to get meat they wanted.
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knine
"The problem is at a contest you can't just babysit one catagory like you can at home".

why not ? if i am just going to put chicken in the contest what else do i babysit ?
You asked why I didn't turn breast. :scratch right? I did mention that the contests I will be cooking in are KCBS contests and there are 4 catagories (if you want to be elligible for GC). That's why I can't babysit one catagory.
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Old 03-13-2007, 05:47 PM   #16
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Most cooks turn in thighs. The biggest foe is time. There is quite a lapse of time between done, trimmed and boxed, taken to the judges, and actually brought to the table and consumed, chicken. Over that time, chicken breast will "die". Dead chicken breast is tough, and dry. Try it out at home. Cook your best chicken breast, put it in a take out box and let it sit on your counter for 1/2 an hour or 45 minutes. If it comes out great, I'd enter it.

Good Q!

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Old 03-13-2007, 06:04 PM   #17
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Good information being provided....what is the preferred method of cooking? Grilling on a charcoal grill, smoking, both?

If you do chicken breasts would you do em with skin on??
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:52 PM   #18
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We have done breasts skin and bone on for years, smoke till they reach 157 internal. At this point handle just as you would thighs, goes into suace bath for about 1 hour to tenderize skin. They come out and and glaze.

Display by removing bones and slicing. They have won many times and did take 6th in the Royal open a few years ago. Thighs have won the last few years before that it was breast that were needed to take 1st.

I agree that breasts will come around again.
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:58 PM   #19
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I like thighs for comps but prefer breast meat for eating at home.
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jminion
We have done breasts skin and bone on for years, smoke till they reach 157 internal. At this point handle just as you would thighs, goes into suace bath for about 1 hour to tenderize skin. They come out and and glaze.

Display by removing bones and slicing. They have won many times and did take 6th in the Royal open a few years ago. Thighs have won the last few years before that it was breast that were needed to take 1st.

I agree that breasts will come around again.
One can only hope!

One of the decisions you have to make as a cooker is whether you want to have crispy skin or bite through skin. Either way you have to conciously deal with the skin. Then it's just a matter of flavoring a piece of flavorless flesh. Producers these days haven't helped matters much. Enhanced is not a bad deal, it provides moisture. Natural, organic or free range makes an interesting profile but, IMHO, the quality is not recognized in todays circles.

Good Q!

Jack
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