When is the best time to cook chicken thighs?
A new study from the University of New South Wales suggests it’s probably time to get your chicken thighs cooked up a little earlier than you think.
Dr Anna Richey, from the School of Life Sciences at the university, led the study.
“The chicken is cooked when it is very tender, at an average temperature of around 105 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Fahrenheit) and there is a low protein content.”
When you cook chicken, it’s not just the skin that’s cooked, there’s also the internal organ that goes into cooking and it’s important to have those ingredients cooked properly so that they don’t go into the meat,” Dr Richez said.
The researchers said that when chicken thighs were cooked, they retained the natural collagen and proteins, which help them to maintain their firmness.”
So it was very surprising to see that if you overcook the chicken and cooked it too long, it had a lot less collagen and it had less protein than if you cooked it at a low temperature,” Dr Pemberton said.”
You can think of it as a low-protein, high-fiber chicken.
“Dr Richeys team wanted to find out why the chicken’s tenderness is enhanced by overcooking, and they set out to find an explanation for this.”
In chicken, collagen and fat are the building blocks that make up the muscle.
They are what keep the chicken together,” Dr Jana Pembert said.
Dr Pemberts research has shown that when we overcook chicken, the chicken loses some of the muscle and the collagen that is there, which makes it more likely to break down.”
We know that if we overcooked the chicken too long it lost its protein, so we wanted to see if we could increase the collagen in the chicken.
“The team started with chicken breasts, but soon realised that they could use a chicken thigh to mimic that texture.”
They’re a very tender piece of meat, they have a lot of collagen, so if we were to cook it to a very high temperature, we would see a loss of collagen,” Dr Lorna Richex said.
Her team also cooked chicken thighs at lower temperatures and found that the collagen had increased in size, and there was a decrease in fat content.
Dr Richards team then used a chicken liver to mimic the texture of chicken breast, but this did not cause a loss in the collagen.”
I think it’s actually quite an interesting experiment,” Dr Mandy Richett said.
If you’ve got chicken thighs that are too tender for your liking, you can use the skin of a cow, or a pig, or you can buy a chicken that’s been cooked at higher temperatures, like one that’s at 130 degrees Celsius or so.”
That way, you have a meat that’s really tender and doesn’t lose its collagen and protein at the same time,” Dr Tania Pembertt said.”
“We think there is something about the chicken that enhances the chicken-skin-boneless-skin texture.”
Dr Perez said it would be ideal to eat the chicken thighs in a salad, or even with other meats that have been cooked to a higher temperature.
“It’s a great way to enjoy chicken thighs, especially when they’re still soft and juicy,” Dr Gail Richell said.
She said she had never tried the technique of cooking chicken in a pot, but she would be interested to see how it would turn out in her kitchen.
“There’s a lot to learn about cooking chicken, and we need to cook the chicken as it is before we cook anything else,” Dr Wanda Richelly said.