This one goes out to all the roast-chicken carvers. You know who you are. While others are setting the table or tossing the salad or asking you, “Hey, is the chicken ready yet?” you are at the cutting board, apron on, knife in hand. For this, you deserve a pat on the back, glass of wine, and some oysters.
Not those oysters. Chicken oysters.
I first read about these on a newish website called, ahem, Food52, years before I started working here. Our co-founders Amanda and Merrill were bolstering my chicken-carving confidence, as they do. Then, mid-video, they mentioned this lil’ secret:
After you’ve removed the legs and breasts (cue the video at 1:49), “You want to flip the bird over, so that you can find the oyster,” Merrill says. “Which is the best part of the whole chicken.” I’m listening. “It’s just that little piece of meat that’s right next to the spine,” Merrill continues. “And it’s about the size of a plump oyster,” Amanda adds.
Though small, the two chicken oysters are some of the juiciest, tenderest meat on the whole bird. Like other juicy, tender meat (hello, thighs), they’re dark by nature. Located on the back), on either side of the spine toward the thighs, they’re sneakily hidden, making them the carver’s to enjoy: “I don’t tell anyone about them,” Amanda says. (Seems like a lot of people are doing this—no one told me for years!)
Our Senior Lifestyle Editor Hana Asbrink is also an oyster devotee. In a recent chicken-carving tutorial, she also points out these hidden gems (at 2:50):
Hana calls them “the chef’s or cook’s treat.” After she removes them from the carcass—this is easy to do by hand—she declares, “That’s for you to eat.” For you! The chicken carver. Unless you want to share one with me. There are two, after all.