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How to Debone a Chicken Thigh

I get it your spouse came home with a package of chicken and they were chicken thighs with the bone in. You were going to use them for soup or say tacos and now you don’t know what to do with them.

You say hey wait a minute there must be an easy way to debone a chicken thigh and you Google it.

I have you covered and I’m glad you found my post. I will show you some great pictures, a video and also the good old written word.

So go ahead and jump into this post or watch the video!

Chicken thigh bone fully removed on cutting board

Steps to Debone a Chicken Thigh

removing the bone from the chicken thigh

I give you some really simple steps to follow. You can also watch the video that I have added, it has the same exact steps.

All your really going to need is a sharp knife and a cutting board. If you get a knife that is a little bit flexible, this could really help with cutting the bone out.

Trim excess skin

trimming excess skin off

Chicken thighs can come with a lot of excess skin from when they were cut up from a whole chicken.

So I like to go ahead at this point while there is still some structure to the chicken thigh and trim any of the excess skin off.

We are not trying to remove the skin, this is what ads a ton of flavor to the chicken.

Flip to skin side down

flipping so the skin side is down

Flip the chicken thigh so that the skin is down on a cutting board.

I like to place the chicken thigh so that the bigger end of the bone is furthest away from me and is at the top of the chicken thigh.

The reason I do this is that it’s easier to cut towards the bone and not have to get around the large part of the bone.

Cut to the bone

cutting into the bone to start

Now we make our first cut. This cut is on top of the bone and follows the entire bone.

This should expose the chicken bone and give us access to get as close as possible to be able to save as much chicken as possible.

Cut Towards The Bone

cutting towards the bone

Now that we have access we want to work our way around the bone.

Make light cuts towards the bone, I almost scrape the bone a bit in a sense so that I am getting as much chicken as possible.

With the hand that you are not holding the knife with, grab some of the chicken and pull it away as you cut into the bone.

Now when I say “cut into the bone” I’m talking about close, not actually cutting into the bone.

Work you way around the bone until you have pretty much cut out about half of the bone.

If you’re ok with cutting up a chicken thigh, I have an entire post to show you how to cut up a chicken breast.

Remove the chicken thigh bone

removing the bone

Now you can pretty much fold the chicken under your hand and have direct access to the chicken bone.

You should be able to make a few last cuts and be able to remove the bone completely from the chicken thigh.

I like to go around and feel for any leftover bone or hard cartilage that I might have missed as I was cutting.

That’s it, you have now deboned a chicken thigh in just a few minutes.

If you are learning to cook and you are starting to process your own chicken, I would also check out my post on how to cut up chicken wings.

Benefits of deboning a chicken thigh

getting under the bone removing it
  • When you remove a bone from a chicken the meat can cook quicker. The bone will hold the cold from the refrigerator and not allow the meat along the bone to cook as fast.
  • If you are feeding some kids you don’t need to worry if there is some leftover bone that they could eat by accident.
  • If you’re preparing a dish where the chicken thighs just get cut up like my grilled chicken tacos then you won’t have to worry about removing the bone when the meat is hot and you’re trying to chop it up.


This is totally a personal decision and you also want to consider the recipe. A lot of great dishes are made with the bone like braised chicken thighs. If your making a stir fry or a soup then it most likely is a good idea to go ahead and remove the bones before cooking.

It is easier to debone chicken raw except if that chicken has been braised. Braised chicken is really easy to remove the bones and the meat typically just ” falls off the bone”

This depends on the recipe. I like to leave the skin on 90% of the time, it has a great crunch to almost all recipes and it also adds some great fat to your diet. I think fat is a good thing in a diet and it needed!

Just the chicken thigh without the drum has one big bone in it. This is why it is typically pretty easy to debone the chicken thigh.

chicken thigh bone completely removed

How To Debone a Chicken Thigh

Here is a quick way to debone a chicken thigh
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 497 kcal


  • 2 chicken thighs


  • Trim any excess fat off of the chicken thigh
  • Put the chicken thigh skin side down with the bigger end of the bone facing up and further away from you.
  • Take your first cut into the bone, in the center of the bone along it entirely. This steo is to get through the initial meat and get us to the bone.
  • Cut along the bone and into the bone. Your looking to creat a peeling away for the meat. You want to make very light percise.
  • Remove the final chicken from the bone and cut the underside. The chicken bone should pretty much be detachec from the rest of the chicken.


Serving: 2gCalories: 497kcalProtein: 43gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 162mgPotassium: 437mgVitamin A: 324IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 2mg
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