Our resident butcher STEVE BAIN tucks into a tasty, but often neglected, cut of chicken.

What are ‘thigh cutlets’? They are the thigh-part of a chicken Maryland; often with the skin on and the bone still in.

The beauty of this cut is that it is dark, delicate, juicy meat that many prefer to breast meat.

Additionally, with the bone still in, these cutlets do require a bit of ‘sit-down-with-a-knife-and-fork’ to eat.

Yet they are the easiest chicken to eat off a bone because there are no ‘sneaky’ bits, like small bones or tendons that get in the way.

Being flat(ish) and juicy/moist makes chicken thighs one of the easiest and quickest to cook evenly.


Step 1

Step 1: I’ve started with a whole chicken with breast side up. Here the breast skin is peeled back to give a better visual understanding of the thigh to ‘frame’ connection as we work through the processing of ‘just’ the thigh.

Step 2

Step 2: Lay the entire leg of the bird out to the side.

Step 3

Step 3: Now cut through the chicken meat between leg and frame/ribs.

Step 4

Step 4: Next, cut through the meat from the other side — cut towards where the leg joints to the frame.

Step 5

Step 5: To confirm the location of the leg/frame joint, bend the leg ‘backwards’. Often the joint will open up and the bones will pop apart.

Step 6

Step 6: A close up of the leg joint. In this photo the bones have separated from the joint.

Step 7

Step 7: Finally, for this phase, cut through the remaining flesh and separate the leg from the rest of the chicken carcase.

Step 8

Step 8: The Maryland separated from the bird.

Step 9

Step 9: Now flip the Maryland skin side up.

Step 10

Step 10: You can locate the Maryland’s ‘knee’ joint — between the drumstick and thigh — by bending both bones towards each other. Then lay the Maryland flat and cut through the ‘knee’ joint (where the drumstick and thigh bones meet).

Step 11

Step 11: The drumstick and the thigh now present two different eating options. Drumsticks are great finger food, whereas the thigh is arguably one of the best bone-in options for knife and fork cuisine.