Before Cooking Chicken it Helps to Know if you are Working with Tough or Tender Portions of the Bird.
Tender and Tough Chicken Parts
Resources > Food > Meat > Poultry > Chicken Resources > Tender and Tough Chicken Parts

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Culinary Uses
As with other livestock, older birds do more work over time and have a chance to build up more muscle and Connective Tissue than younger birds, making older birds tougher than younger ones.

The age and quality of your Chickens is a very important factor in determining whether it will be tender or tough, which is why we have spent so much time explaining Chicken classifications and labeling. If you know what you are buying and working with, you have a good idea about its tenderness.

The specific cut also impacts toughness. The amount of work the muscle performs determines how much Connective Tissue is created, and consequently how tough the specific meat will be for cooking.

Unlike most birds, Chickens don’t spend a lot of time flying. They do spend a lot of time standing or walking, running around pecking and scratching if they are Free-Range.  This means that Chicken Legs will be tougher than Chicken Wings or Chicken Breasts.

Tougher cuts of Chicken meat may need “Low & Slow” cooking so that the heat penetrates the meat thoroughly and helps Tenderize it by prolonged exposure to it. Tender cuts and thinner cuts often just need to be warmed internally for palatability and health. They are best suited to quick cooking methods such as Sautéing or Grilling. Tougher, thicker cuts do better with, for example, the longer cooking times of a Braise or a slow Roast.