Chicken For Lunch? Go For The Thigh.

I've decided that contrary to popular opinion, when it comes to lunch, the breast is not the best part of the chicken. Served chilled, it's stringy, dry and flavorless. Served warm — or worse, reheated — it's gummy and stiff and you'll still have to saw it apart with what will likely be a plastic fork and knife. So if you eat at your desk, I hope it's a big one with plenty of elbow room, not surrounded by three 2-foot stacks of cookbooks.

A thigh, on the other hand, tenderizes quickly and stays moist and juicy, owing entirely to the bone and greatly supported by a thin layer of fat under the skin. That is how thighs should be cooked: bone-in, skin on (at least while browning). Thighs also have more chicken flavor, if that's what you're going for, are vastly more cost-effective and are at least three times more fun to cook.

I get no gratification out of cooking a chicken breast, even though I know very well how to keep it juicy. But building a flavorful base for a thigh to leisurely cook in is immensely satisfying. When I reheat it, it gets better! When I take the meat off the bones to use in soup, salads, curry, sandwiches, pasta or even to eat by itself, it comes off with a fork in perfect shreds, the way it was always meant to shred, because thighs are made for shredding.

Here are some ideas for your newfound favorite protein.

So get intimate with what I firmly believe to be the best part of the chicken (aside from deep-fried skin, obviously), don't hesitate to go to the dark side and find your perfect use for this juicy meat.

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