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Cooking Tips

The Secret Ingredient in Bone-In Chicken? It’s Not the Bone.

Want perfectly crispy skin on your chicken breasts? It takes only a few extra minutes.
By Published Sept. 13, 2022

It’s easily my favorite part of a chicken dinner. Crispy, crunchy, schmaltzy chicken skin is, for me, a true delicacy. I almost never cook with boneless, skinless chicken parts because I value the skin so much.

But do boneless, skinless and bone-in, skin-on parts have to be your only choice? What if, like me, you love the skin but don't fancy the bones? Well, that’s why a few minutes of extra work removing the bones from your chicken parts will always be worth the payoff, and our test cook Mark Huxsoll has developed a recipe for Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts to show exactly why that is.

Buying bone-in chicken breasts may seem pointless when the plan is to come home and remove the bones from the meat yourself, but the payoff is the skin that comes along with bone-in breasts. And the extra work isn’t really all that daunting.

I promise.

All you need to do is follow these quick and easy steps and you’re on your way to a perfect, boneless, skin-on chicken dinner.

  1. Place one chicken breast skin side down on a cutting board, with the ribs facing away from your knife hand. Run the tip of your knife between the breastbone and the meat, working from the thick end of the breast toward the thin end.
  2. Angling the blade slightly to run along the rib cage, continue to cut to remove the ribs.
  3. Find the short remnant of the wishbone along the top edge of the breast, and run the tip of your knife along both sides of the bone to separate it from the meat.
Run the tip of your knife between the breastbone and the meatAngling the blade slightly to run along the rib cage, continue to cut to remove the ribsRun the tip of your knife along both sides of the bone to separate it from the meat

Now all that’s left to do is cook your chicken, searing the skin to browned, crispy perfection. For a recipe that perfectly showcases this method, you can peruse our latest pan-roasted chicken recipes, all with a variety of flavors and spices for every taste.