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Since I love so much chicken bone broth, I avoid buying always plain chicken breast. Instead I buy the whole thigh because I want to collect the bones.

My only problem is finding a good way to separate meat and bone. Normally my only option is just boiling a big batch. That makes cleaning the bones by hand way easier. However I wonder if there is an alternative method. I found trimming with a knife quite hard, but maybe there is a right knife or technique for it?, maybe just partially boiling them? Buying half leg instead of a whole one?

I would like to find an easy way to prepare a big batch of raw chicken and bones (freeze most of it later) since I believe that without boiling, I could get a better match while cooking a full dish.

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I am not quite sure what you are asking... are you asking how to bone out a chicken thigh? If you are using it for soup/stock/broth, you might as well just pull it after cooking. If you want to debone the chicken before cooking, that is a different thing. –  SAJ14SAJ Nov 22 '13 at 15:55
    
I'm of the opinion that it depends on what you want the meat for. If it's acceptable for it to have been poached or roasted, then do that before separating the bones out. (and then roast & crack the bones to make stock) But you can also ask your butcher if they'll just sell you bones. If they do processing on site, they might (or they might even just give 'em to you) –  Joe Nov 22 '13 at 20:28
    
Lateral suggestion: get chicken feet for the stock instead. They cost next to nothing, yield excellent broth, and you save yourself a ton of fiddly work that deboning chicken thighs is. –  millimoose Nov 24 '13 at 17:02
    
Read a review recently from America's Test Kitchen and they said the best chicken broth was made from using the wings only. They used 3 lbs. of wings per recipe. Sorry I don't have the recipe in front of me but I'm sure you can find it if you google "chicken soup made from chicken wings." Hope this helps. –  Barb Nov 26 '13 at 21:18
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Assuming you are asking how to debone a raw chicken thigh, the process is not very difficult, and becomes easier with practice.

This video from AllRecipes shows it clearly (I watched, but with sound off, so I don't know about the narration). Its much easier to understand by watching than by reading.

The best knife to use a thin, slightly flexible knife, often called a boning knife. While less ideal, a paring knife, utility knife, or even a chef's knife will still do the job.

  1. If you have a leg-thigh quarter, bend the leg at the joint to reveal where the joint is, and slice to through to separate the drumstick from the thigh.

  2. Lay your thigh skin-side down on the board.

  3. Slice along each side of the bone, closely, with your knife, being careful not to cut through the skin. The flexible tip of the knife will help you hug closely to the bone, minimizing any loss of meat.

  4. Slice under the bone, kind of reaching under it, with the point of your knife to separate the bone from the the thigh.

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It's possible that he's dealing with a whole leg, based on the "Buying half leg instead of a whole one?" comment. So you'd also have to separate the leg from the thigh. –  Joe Nov 22 '13 at 20:23
    
Oh, wait, that was step #1 ... sorry. –  Joe Nov 22 '13 at 20:26
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