Some people prefer the meaty boneless chicken instead of its bone-in counterpart.
While others think cooking with the bones in will be much better and more flavorful.
So will it be possible to substitute boneless chicken for bone-in chicken in the majority of recipes?
Let’s figure it out in this article.
What is boneless chicken?
Boneless chicken, as the name implies, is any cut of chicken that has the bones removed.
Normally, boneless chicken refers to some typical cuts like chicken breast, chicken thighs, or sometimes chicken drumsticks.
Because it is easier to take the bones out from these cuts rather than chicken wings or chicken legs.
This type of chicken is often more expensive than bone-in chicken because it requires more techniques from the butchers to remove the bones without messing up the meat cut before packaging the chicken and selling it on the market.
Boneless chicken can have skin or not, but the most popular type of chicken cut is boneless and skinless as the skin is often considered the most unhealthy part of the chicken with the most fat found in it.
Boneless chicken is meatier and takes less time to cook.
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It is typically grilled, baked, or breaded then deep-fried until it reaches a crispy crust and while the meat inside is still juicy.
What is bone-in chicken?
In contrast to boneless chicken, bone-in chicken means that there are still bones in the meat.
This type of chicken is considered to taste better because it has more flavor and a firmer texture than boneless and skinless chicken.
Bone-in chicken can refer to the whole chicken or individual cuts like chicken wings, chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, or sometimes chicken breasts.
Bone-in chicken can also be cooked in different ways, including roasting, baking, grilling, deep-frying, or braising.
Bone-in chicken is often cheaper than its boneless counterpart because it doesn’t require any effort to remove the bone from the chicken cut before selling.
Many people even want to make use of the bones from the bone-in chicken so that they can simmer these bones and create the best chicken stock for soups or stews.
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Can you substitute boneless chicken for bone-in chicken in cooking recipes?
Yes, you totally can substitute boneless chicken for bone-in chicken in most cases.
There are actually no differences between the texture and flavor between boneless and bone-in chicken when it comes to the same cut of chicken.
Therefore, in many cooking recipes like grilling, baking, roasting, or deep-frying, boneless chicken can work as a perfect alternative for bone-in chicken without changing the texture or taste of your dish.
One thing to keep in mind is that boneless chicken takes less time to cook so you better keep your eyes while cooking this kind of chicken to prevent it from getting dry or chewy because of overcooking it.
In some special cases, boneless chicken is not suitable to substitute for bone-in chicken.
For example, rotisserie chicken is just great for cooking the whole bird because all the flavor and moisture can be kept inside the chicken while grilling.
On the other hand, boiled chicken in Asian cuisine (like Vietnamese or Chinese) also only works for bone-in chicken.
Especially the whole bird rather than cut-up chicken as it can be dried or chewy in these recipes.
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The bottom line
In conclusion, boneless chicken and bone-in chicken are no different in texture or flavor, but the type that it is processed and sold on the market.
Therefore, it is straightforward to substitute boneless chicken for the bone-in counterpart without any fuss.
However, as already mentioned, boneless chicken doesn’t work in some cases, when the recipes call for the whole bird (like rotisserie or boiling.)
Therefore, be a wise cook to substitute these cuts in your cooking.
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