Roast Chicken ThighsRoast coriander chicken thighs with sweet potatoes and bacon. Photo courtesy McCormick. Get the recipe.





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September 2011

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Meat & Poultry

Chicken Glossary: Chicken Cuts

Page 7: Chicken Terms S To Z



This is Page 7 of a seven-page chicken glossary, including chicken cuts. Click on the black links below to visit other pages. Check out almost 100 other food glossaries: details on all of your favorite foods. Also see our Egg Glossary.



This glossary is protected by copyright and cannot be copied in whole or in part.


The part of a chicken’s back just before the tail.

Chicken sausage typically has less fat than pork sausage, yet all the flavor. It’s flexible enough to be enjoyed with eggs at breakfast, in a hot dog roll at lunch, in a pasta salad, in a mixed grill, in stuffing or anyplace you’d  use sausage.

The part of a chicken's leg between the claw and the first joint.

A a young and tender chicken, typically from two to ten months old. As chickens age, the flesh grows tougher and needs to be stewed (the original slow cooking) in order to be easily chewed. Not to be confused with poussin, or baby chicken. Also see stewing chicken.

  Pasta Salad With Chicken Sausage
Chicken & Apple Sausage pasta salad. Photo courtesy Aidells. Get the recipe.

The sharp pointed protrusions on a rooster's shanks.

A cockerel on the brink of sexual maturity, when his comb and spurs begin to develop.

The description of an ideal specimen for its breed; also, a chicken that conforms to the description of its breed in the American Standard of Perfection, sometimes erroneously used when referring to large as opposed to bantam breeds.

Young female chickens that are nearly old enough to lay.


A stewing hen is an older bird: 10 months to 1-1/2 years in age. Past its prime for roasting, it gave rise to the expression “tough old birds.” While no longer tender, the flesh still has plenty of flavor, and is a bargain when used to make a slow-cooked chicken stew, chicken soup or chicken stock.

A flock of related chickens selectively bred by one person or organization for so long that the offspring have become uniform in appearance or production.

  Chicken Soup
Use an older “stewing hen” to make stew or chicken soup. Photo courtesy Grandma’s Chicken Soup.

Chicken tender or tenderloin is the inner breast meat (white meat) connected to the breastbone. Thinner than the rest of the breast, it is cut from the breast by the butcher. Sometimes the tender is called a cutlet, sometimes the outer breast meat is erroneously called a cutlet.

See wing, below.



The tender or tenderloin: the thinnest part of the breast. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

The thigh is the top portion of the leg that is attached to the body (see chicken cuts chart). Below the knee joint are the drumstick and the feet. The thigh (as well as the drumstick) consists of all dark meat. Thighs are available skinned as well as skinned and boned, a dark meat alternative to the boneless breast.


A skinned chicken thigh. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

Subdivision of a breed of chicken according to color, comb style, beard and/or leg feathering.

The two red or purplish flaps of flesh that dangle under a chicken’s or rooster’s chin, as shown in the photo at right.


The entire bird, minus the head and the feet. The giblets are usually tucked inside. The top of the bird (breast quarters) is white meat; the bottom of the bird (leg quarters) is dark meat.


Chicken Wattles

A Rhode Island Red rooster and hen with bright red wattles. Photo by Andrei Niemimäki | Wikimedia.

The wing of a chicken, which is white meat, comprises three parts:

  • The shoulder wing or drumette, which connects to the body of the chicken. It is the meatiest part of the wing.
  • The mid joint or wingette, or flat wing tip is the center portion of the three-part wing. It contains less meat than the drumette.
  • The wing tip, the narrow end of the wing. It is usually removed by restaurants since it contains almost no meat and is not aesthetically pleasing; although it can be used to make stock.

The mid-joint of the wing. As with the drumette, this part offers poultry producers the opportunity to sell something that sounds special, even though it is often a function reclaiming a portion of a whole wing that’s been damaged in processing.

  Chicken Wing
Three part wing: shoulder wing or drumette, mid joint wing or wingette and the wing tip. Photos by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
The wingette, or mid-joint wing.
  Wing Tip
The wing tip.



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