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In Reply to: Re: Judging Class Chicken Question posted by robertlh on December 12, 2011 at 22:08:04:
I remember being reprimanded once by a table captain to not use a fork to touch the meat...I was appalled at the request by the table captain...not appalled at actually 'playing with my food' (with my fingers), but appalled at how I was reprimanded for using utensils...not quite sure how the utensils got into the tent, but I eat with my mouth and trust my mouth (better than my fingers) when it comes to judging tenderness...yeah, I'll use fingers when necessary such as to pick up a rib, or more importantly, to 'pull-test' brisket, but being reprimanded for using a fork on pork was a stretch.
To answer the original question...tenderness of breast vs thighs...as a cook, I know that breasts are less forgiving with regard to tenderness, and would hold tender breast in a higher regard than an equally tender thigh.
As a slight aside to this, I was in a Boston restaurant a couple of weeks ago and was served 'roasted chicken' that was drop dead tender...the dish consisted of one breast served with one thigh, both of which were drop dead tender...but if I had to close my eyes and guess which piece was what based on tenderness alone, I could not tell any difference. In a situation like that, at the risk of 'comparing one to the other' but having respect for the added challenge of avoiding 'dry' breast, I would have scored the equally tender breast better than the thigh.
It was confided to me later by the staff that that (brined) 'roasted chicken' was a dish that the staff had perfected and that if and when they ordered something for themselves, the roasted chicken was their menu item of choice. Best chicken I've had anywhere - I was amazed.
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