Dear fellow meat smokers,
Im trying to do something slightly unconventional (or at least as far as I know) and I havent had much luck figuring out how to go about this..
Im trying to create a bacon style chicken thigh/leg. I have seen a few things here and there...but most of my web searches yield Japanese chicken ham recipes and the like. The basic concept is to butcher the leg quarter in a way that leaves the skin intact, but also takes the skin from the remainder of the back for wrapping the underside, debone the thigh and leg as one piece, cure, then use activa or "meat glue" to attach the extra skin to other side of the boneless leg quarter,fold over itself like a sandwich, press under a weight for some period of time and finally smoke, then slice. The finished product would be a boneless chicken leg quarter with chicken skin on top, bottom and in the middle, layered between the meat, much in the same way that pork belly is a layering of meat and fat, only naturally occurring. Of course, the dark meat of the bird seems to lend itself best to this application, as it wont dry out and is also much fattier. Im comfortable with the butchery, meat gluing and smoking. My main concern is the cure. Im familiar with the basics of curing, but not highly experienced and I would love some advice on this... most of my research has turned up wet cures only, which is common with poultry, however given the unique nature of this project, I think a dry cure may yield a better texture. As far as I can find dry curing poultry is virtually unheard of, but Im not sure why. Please, any suggestions on wet vs dry, what type of curing salt, also strength and time of cure would be greatly appreciated. The end goal is, like I mentioned before, a "slab" of layered chicken meat and skin that can be treated in the same way as bacon, ideally diced into cubes and coooked until crispy without drying out terribly, with the same tackiness as bacon.