What is a Chicken Oyster? Where to Find it and How to Cook it

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Last updated on March 16, 2023


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A chicken oyster sounds like a poultry-fish hybrid, but I assure you it's simpler than that! 

Believe it or not, the chicken oyster is the most delicious, and often overlooked part of the chicken.

In this article you’ll learn what the chicken oyster is, where to find it and how to cook it to perfection.


What is a Chicken Oyster?

In French, the term le “sot-l’y-laisse” translates to “the fool leaves it there," referring to the fact that chicken oysters are often ignored or missed when serving. 

Honestly, I was not aware of this piece of meat either until recently.

Chicken oysters are two oval shaped pieces of dark meat containing a texture and flavor that cannot go unnoticed. The chicken oyster has the juiciness of a chicken thigh and tenderness of the chicken breast. 

This is why you would be a fool to throw those chicken oysters in the trash unnoticed!  

Where is the Chicken Oyster?

The prime reason for people missing out on the chicken oysters is due to its location. Likely you’ve accidentally removed the chicken oysters along with the least desirable parts of the chicken. 

Never again 🙂

The oysters are located on either side of the spine, in the back of the chicken’s thigh, near the backbone. 

The video below will show the exact location. 

Why We Love the Chicken Oyster


The chicken is positioned breast side up when it's cooking. The chicken oysters are protected by the meat, away from direct heat exposure. 

What makes the oysters extremely juicy and tender is the fat and juices being pulled to the oysters. 

The chicken oysters are boneless, dark meat, and easy to incorporate into any dish

The commonly overlooked chicken oyster is a hot commodity for chefs in the kitchen. 

How to Cut Out the Chicken Oyster


Method 1

Turn the chicken breast side up. 

Take a sharp knife and start slicing through the skin of the leg quarter. As you pull and separate the leg quarter apart from the bird, using the tip of your knife slice around the socket to free up the oyster from the indentation.  

In this method, your oyster will still be attached to the thigh once you completely remove the leg quarter. 

You can cut out the oyster from there. Repeat on the other leg. 

Method 2

First turn the chicken on its breasts. With a sharp carving knife or poultry scissor, remove both leg thighs from the chicken. 

Peel the skin away or any remnants of the skin hanging off the thighs. The oysters should be located at the back of the thighs, sitting in an indention separated by the spine. 

Simply take your finger and pop them out around the edges, or slide a utensil into the indention to pop them out. 

Preparing a Chicken Oyster


When preparing chicken, ensure the chicken does not smell off when you first open the package. If you catch a whiff of something odd about the chicken, we recommend throwing it away and starting with a fresh one. 

 You should always ensure your chicken or chicken oysters are cooked to a temperature of 165°F.

This applies to either cooking the oysters by themselves or still intact in the chicken. Be careful not to overcook your chicken as the meat can dry out. 

If you purchase whole birds to pry the oysters out and store for later, ensure you package the oysters in a freezer-safe bag to avoid freezer burn. 

Chicken Oyster Recipes


The simplest way to prepare a chicken oyster is to consume it fresh off a roasted chicken. Juicy and flavorful, the oysters are perfect this way. 

In Japanese cuisine, it's popular to marinate chicken oysters in a sauce for a few hours, put onto skewers, and placed on the grill. You can also deep fry, pan sear or oven roast chicken oysters. The possibilities are endless. Check out a few of these recipes!

Tempura Chicken Oyster Bites - looking for a light and crispy fare? Try out these Tempura Chicken Oysters! Comparable to popcorn chicken but juicier meat and a lighter crisp.

Chicken oysters with Penne in Lemon Rosemary Sauce - switch out the chicken breast in pasta dishes for chicken oysters. Perfect bite size chicken to go with your penne noodles! 

Chicken-Fried Oyster Sandwich- swap out your typical fried chicken sandwich with oysters and try out this great lunch recipe!


Believe it or not, chicken oysters are special. Discovered centuries ago yet only a handful of the population knows about this overlooked part of the chicken. 

The juiciest gems hidden for you to find and enjoy. So now that you know about the best kept secret of a chicken, don't be the fool that tosses them!


About the author, Amy

Amy spends her days changing diapers, creating chaos in the kitchen, hunting for bourbon and exploring breweries across the country with her husband and Baby Amelia! (She has been to more breweries than Amy ever did when she was a one year old!) Amy received her Bachelors Degree in Hospitality with a concentration in food & beverage at East Carolina University. She spent most of her hospitality career managing & guiding individuals to provide the best dining experience to guests through the creativity of the dishes & beverages