The Chicken Skin Mistake That Puts Dinner At Risk

Whether you like to remove the skin from chicken because you heard it's unhealthy, or you simply don't enjoy the texture or taste, chances are you know how difficult the process can be. Some recipes suggest simply pulling the skin off with your hands, but that can lead to a disaster. Picture it: You've managed to wedge your fingers between the chicken thigh and skin, and as you struggle to grip the meat with one hand and pry the skin off with the other, the chicken slips out of your grasp and is flung across the room. Luckily, there are some strategies you can employ when skinning chicken so you can avoid this unfortunate situation.

To easily skin your chicken without it ending up on the floor, start by grabbing a paring knife. Make sure it's nice and sharp, and use it to slice the skin away from the meat. If you need some extra help keeping everything secure, you can grip the meat with a paper towel. Carefully cutting the sinewy connections between the skin and the meat will make the skinning process much easier.

To skin or not to skin

You can also simplify the process by waiting to remove the skin after you've finished cooking. Once the bird has cooled down a bit, it should be almost effortless to remove the crispy skin from the tender meat. Cooking the chicken with the skin still attached will also improve the final product as the fat from the skin will impart a lot of flavor and make the meat a lot more succulent, which is perfect for something like our delicious honey-glazed chicken thighs recipe.

There's also a case to be made for not removing the skin at all. A common misconception is that chicken skin will make your meal drastically less healthy. And while the skin will add a few calories to your meal, it will also add unsaturated fat, which is actually good for your heart health. In fact, per the Harvard School of Public Health, unsaturated fats can "improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation," and "stabilize heart rhythms."

Of course, there's nothing wrong with removing the chicken skin if that's what you prefer — just make sure you use a sharp paring knife and not your hands. This technique is just one of many chicken cooking hacks that will help save your dinner. So, the next time you're preparing some chicken for the grill, use a paring knife to remove the skin, and skip the mess.