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Old 06-18-2009, 01:10 PM   #1
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I've recently taken up grilling,, as it's the only way I know of to get a good, delicious source of protein and have some readily available in the fridge. And it's delicious. so, of course, i'm wary. I haven't been removing the skin from the boneless chicken thighs I've been grilling, and I'm wondering how much of an impact this has? How bad is it to eat the skin? (Aside from how gross it sounds.)
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:16 PM   #2
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I take the skin off and trim the fat off of everything, even stuff I grill. Indirect grilling (I have the charcoal to one side and put the meat on the other side) is usually the best bet for not drying out your chicken since it takes a while for it to cook.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:18 PM   #3
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A medium thigh, grilled, skin eaten is 158 calories and 10 grams of fat.
Without the skin, it's 108 calories and 6 grams of fat.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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Some things seem to need it - and grilled chicken fits that category in my opinion. I think the skin helps retain the moisture, and I will peel it off if it's black. We like to use dry rubs and herbs, which we work under the skin before grilling - and that way you don't peel off all the flavor. BBQ sauce seems to be OK on skinless - it makes a glaze that seems to serve the same purpose, or we just serve it on the side at the table. We also have a vertical roaster for the oven, and when we use that, all the fat runs down into the drip pan and leaves really crispy skin. I'll admit that I find that pretty irresistable, but now that I'm only eating a half breast at a meal, it's rarely more than 2 square inches of skin.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:46 PM   #5
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icuwishing--that vertical roaster sounds awesome! my dad made a turkey in his oven about a month ago and I still dream about it sometimes--it had this perfect crunchy brown skin. I even ate some all by itself, which I have always considered ...revolting? as an idea, and generally bad for weight loss.
Also, I like the skin black! in some parts. It gives that crispy crunch that reminds me of fried chicken and so many other wonderful things. haha. And the burn gives it a little flavor.
My dad, the grillmaster, told me that if you marinate and cook the chicken with the skin on, and then take it off before you eat it, it will lock in a lot of the moisture and still taste delicious. But i can't see that the skin really makes that much of a difference!
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:00 PM   #6
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The skin is mostly fat and not a lot of protein, so I try not to eat it. But when grilling whole, bone-in pieces of chicken, I do leave it on while cooking to maintain moisture, then remove before serving.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
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Normally if you don't puncture the meat while you are grilling (or even baking) it will hold the moisture in. Once you do though it will dry out.
Sometimes we even boil the chicken before hand in a little bit of crab boil for about 5 mins at a rolling boil It gets spicy if you do that though.

The biggest thing for me is the flare ups that excess fat will cause even when you don't have it directly on the flame. It usually results in a few creole pieces (aka burned )
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
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You can also "marinate" your chicken in a seasoned brine or low-fat buttermilk to add moisture.

I generally grill meat with fat and bone intact, then remove later. The flavor really is in the fat and bone. And I know it sounds gross, but I do like a good piece of crispy skin, like off a roast turkey. Which is why I let someone else do the carving on T-day at my house!

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Old 06-19-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
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Totally agree that the skin doesn't contribute much in terms of nutrition, and sure, it's a few extra calories that have to be accounted for ... but when you have a perfect specimen of naturally raised, bug-fed, organic chicken, there's a whole lot of pleasure in just savoring each bite - crispy roasted skin too! Fortunately, now that I'm eating a whole lot less and more slowly, I can buy for quality instead of quantity - and holy cow - is there ever a difference!
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