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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

What are Chicken Oysters?



breaded fried chicken oyster on white plate on table
What are chicken oysters and where can you find them?

While there is a controversy between white and dark chicken meat, only the experts know the existence of the chicken’s tastiest part that is not typically found in the famous chicken bucket.

We’re sure you have probably never heard of this tasty treat, so we’re here to share with you essential facts about every best cook’s secret—the chicken oyster.

What are Chicken Oysters?

Chicken oysters are small pieces of tender, juicy meat located on a chicken’s back part, about the size of your two thumb’s size when pressed together.

Since it is a bit challenging to locate, these parts are often discarded, making it the most neglected part of the bird.

However, these are also considered the best and tastiest parts of the chicken, making it every chef’s favorite cooking reward.

If you’re in a hurry to find the oysters on your chicken, skip down to learn how to find and remove them.

Why are Chicken Oysters So Delicious?

Chicken oysters are delicious for three main reasons.

First, they are juicy. This dark meat is fatty, meaning it is the most moist and tender part of the chicken.

Second, they have no connective tissue. Dark meats typically have connective tissues that need to be cut or slow-cooked to melt them, yet chicken oysters do not have one.

Lastly, they are boneless. A chicken oyster is one of the most extensive parts of dark meat where deboning is not needed. Since it is cooked around a bone and called a bone-in piece, a chicken oyster possesses that tasty extra flavor.

fried chicken oysters and vegetables
Chicken oysters can be breaded and fried like chicken tenders or used in any recipe calling for chicken.

Does Everyone Like Chicken Oysters?

While it may be the cook’s favorite part of the bird, chicken oysters are not for everyone due to their rich and moist, but dark, meat.

Some people may not favor chicken oysters’ texture and juiciness, as they may have more of that seafood feel, despite being roasted or grilled.

When cooking for a crowd, it is not practical to cook a meal out of chicken oysters, as some may not like them at all.

Instead, you should share it with someone you know who appreciates them, or cook a meal with chicken oysters for yourself.

How Do I Find and Remove the Chicken Oysters?

Chicken oysters are located between the bird’s thigh and pelvis.

Finding them is pretty easy, but removing chicken oysters from the whole chicken can get tricky. It takes precision and patience.

Before you begin cutting with your knife to remove chicken oysters, make sure that your blade is dry.

1. Once your chicken is fully cooked, let it cool for a few minutes, so you can easily slice through the meat.

2. Turn the chicken so you are facing its breast.

3. Making sure the chicken has cooled, hold the chicken thigh away from the body and cut it with your knife until it is fully removed.

4. Peel the skin to find the chicken oyster behind the back of the thigh.

5. Remove the chicken oyster by gently sliding your knife under the oyster until it pops out from the thigh part.

What Can I Do with Chicken Oysters?

Since most meat sellers do not offer chicken oysters, you can really only enjoy a pair of chicken oysters if you roast the bird yourself.

Most of the time, people are fond of eating them as a secret little snack while they carve the rest of the chicken.

However, if you are curious about what other things you can do with them, the answer is—you can do almost whatever you want with them. After all, they are just chicken meat. They can be made into tenders or used in a recipe that calls for chicken.

fried chicken oysters with vegetables in bowl
You can roast, grill, or fry chicken oysters and add them to a small salad or bowl of vegetables for a delicious dish.

Our Favorite Recipe for Chicken Oysters

If you are craving sushi-to-go, there is no need to visit a nearby Japanese restaurant.

Believe it or not, you as can make Chicken Oyster Tempura.

This recipe is so quick and easy, and is a favorite whenever we cook a whole bird.

You need only to prepare a bread mix composed of salt and pepper, flour, and olive oil for starters.



Ground Black Pepper


Olive Oil

Cold Water


1. Place the chicken on your chopping board.

2. Add a pinch of salt, ground black pepper, and cover it with flour.

3. To batter, mix the ingredients in the bowl. If the batter is still a bit stiff, add cold water to achieve a thinner consistency.

4. Dip the chicken into the batter.

5. Fry the chicken into a fryer for 5 to 7 minutes.

6. After cooking, drain the oil using a paper towel.

Can I Find Oysters on Other Poultry?

Yes. Chickens are not the only ones that have “oysters.”

Oysters are also present on turkeys, geese, and ducks. Finding and removing the oysters for these poultry works the same as it does with chicken, so experiment with using these delicious unknown bits of tender meat.

Why Are They Called Chicken Oysters?

Let’s get this straight: chicken oysters are not connected with Rocky Mountain Oysters, Prairie Oysters, or any type of testicles!

We know it may be a bit confusing due to the term, but they are named “oysters” for their oyster-like form, like the seafood that comes fresh from the shell, once they are cut from the bird.

An important reminder: a chicken oyster CANNOT be eaten raw, unlike “real” oysters. It needs to be roasted or grilled.


If the mention of chicken oysters heightened your sense of curiosity, well, you are not alone. Most people definitely have never heard of this savory secret before.

If you wish to find and remove chicken oysters on your own, go ahead and roast a whole chicken yourself and snack on them later while carving, or save them for a special dish.

Some people may not like the texture and taste, but who knows? Maybe you will love it, or maybe you won’t. The important part is, you discovered its existence and have something new to try in the kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What do chicken oysters taste like?

Professional cooks find chicken oysters the best part of a whole chicken. It’s like the other dark meat on a chicken except it as a more tender texture and milder, sweeter, more delicious taste.

Do turkeys have oysters?

Yes, turkeys have oysters. Poultry such as chicken, turkey, and ducks all have oysters. For many people, it is considered the tastiest part of the bird.

Where on the chicken is the oyster muscle located?

Oysters are a pair of small, round pieces of dark meat found on the back of the chicken near the thigh part, in the hollow of the ilium bone’s dorsal side.

Additional Resources:

Image Credits from Flickr: “Chicken Oyster, White Kimchi” (CC BY 2.0) by loustejskal.com; “Chicken oyster, crispy skin, wild mushro” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Chris Pople; “Chicken oyster, crispy skin, cellar kimc” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Chris Pople

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Bryce Heitman

Bryce is not a real professor, but he's real nerdy in the kitchen. He's been barbecuing, chopping, and generally blazing food for many decades. He thinks there's definitely a better spatula or utensil out there that hasn't been invented yet.

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