There’s a lot of variety to these small yet culinarily mighty birds
Poultry is an incredibly popular and versatile protein option. You can use it to whip up a quick and simple supper when you’re running behind, or it can be made into an elaborate centerpiece to impress your guests.
While we commonly think of chicken, turkey, and duck when working with poultry, the same terminology can be applied to less common birds such as quail, pheasant, and goose for the more adventurous cooks. But no matter what type of bird you’re working with, they all contain the same five essential parts.
Here are a few basic things you should know when dealing with each of these cuts.
- Drumstick: Found just below the knee joint, this inexpensive cut is a favourite to grill or fry for a delicious and easy-to-cook meal. Most often cooked with the bone in, this dark meat cut works great with a sticky, savoury glaze for an incredible finger food that’s sure to impress.
- Wing: Another perfect finger food, these popular morsels are ideal for grilling or frying on the bone to ensure a deliciously crispy skin. Before cooking, try marinating them in your favourite sauce to enhance the naturally delicious flavours.
- Thigh: Bursting with robust flavour, the dark meat found on the thigh is perfect for casseroles or other slow-cooking methods. Found just above the knee joint, the thigh is widely considered to be the tastiest poultry cut due to its high fat content. But the benefits don’t stop there: dark meat also contains more iron and zinc than white meat.
- Leg: This cut is a combination of the drumstick and the thigh, and it’s perfect for stewing, roasting, or grilling. Remove the bones for a quicker cooking time, or leave them in to retain more of the flavourful juices. Whatever option you go with, make sure to set the bones aside to make a tasty soup stock with.
- Breast/Fillet: This is the most popular poultry cut due to its versatility: it can be stuffed, roasted, pan-fried, baked or barbecued. And due to its high protein value and low fat and caloric content, it’s also the leanest. However, this also means it’s milder in flavour than dark meat, so be sure to use this to your advantage by pairing it with more subtle flavour profiles.