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What is oyster cut?

The chicken oyster. It sounds strange. But also intriguing enough to suggest deliciousness. I’ve heard other people talk about this elusive piece of meat hidden somewhere on the chicken. Only smart cooks know about it, like Thomas Keller, who mentions it in his recipe for " My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken " in the Bouchon cookbook. When the chicken is done roasting, the skin golden and fragrant, he locates the oyster on each side of the chicken and greedily gobbles it up as a cook’s treat.

The other week we were cutting up chickens at culinary school, starting with the legs, then the breasts. We learned where to trim the wings, easily separate the leg from the thigh, and cut the breast neatly away from the bone. During the demonstration, Chef mentioned “the oyster” in his charming French accent and told us he would show us where to find it. After rinsing, drying, and trimming the chicken, he set out to do just that.

I’ve cut up lots of chickens before, but I usually just lop off the legs and that’s that. When I send the chicken carcass to the stockpot, the oysters have been going to waste. Now I cut more carefully and leave the oyster attached to the leg