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What Are Boneless Chicken Legs?

Rhonda Rivera
Rhonda Rivera

Boneless chicken legs are flexible pieces of chicken meat that no longer have bones or joints in them. There are numerous methods of deboning chicken legs, each involving making more than a dozen small cuts to remove multiple bones and a joint. Boneless chicken legs can be cooked a lot like boneless chicken breasts or other deboned pieces of a chicken, which makes them a very versatile chicken piece. This piece of the chicken tends to be much cheaper than breasts or thighs, but they can be more work for a cook because they often must be deboned at home.

One method of removing the bones of a chicken leg is to first separate the legs from the hip bone. The skin on the drumstick should be cut all the way around to easily remove the skin later. There are two bones in a chicken leg that run at an angle to each other and both should be exposed by cutting on each side of them. Once the bones are fully exposed, a knife can be run underneath them until reaching the joint that connects the bones. The bones can now be grasped in one hand and squeezed together while making small cuts to completely separate them from the joint.

Chicken legs can be deboned with a chef's knife.
Chicken legs can be deboned with a chef's knife.

Boneless chicken legs are sometimes considered the most flavorful part of the chicken. Once the bone is removed, the leg goes well in the vast majority of recipes meant for breast or thigh pieces. Like breasts and thighs, a boneless chicken leg can be pounded into various shapes, then stuffed with vegetables or cheese and pinned closed. Boneless chicken legs can also be cut up and placed in stews or soups, though they tend to have more fat than breasts or thighs. Chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, and chicken cutlets are more examples of chicken dishes legs can be used in.

The most expensive part of a chicken is usually the breast, because it is leanest. In general, the thigh of the chicken is usually about the same price or cheaper. Besides the various innards of a chicken and its skin, the most inexpensive parts are typically the legs. Chicken legs are rarely sold boned, but anyone can remove the bones of a chicken leg with a sharp knife, time, and practice. It can be time consuming at first, but it may save money in the long run if a cook wants to use cheaper parts for breast or thigh recipes.

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    • Chicken legs can be deboned with a chef's knife.
      By: Africa Studio
      Chicken legs can be deboned with a chef's knife.