chicken thighs - safe?

I cooked chicken thighs for 2 hours at 165F, finished by frying each side for 3 minutes. things looked good; juices ran clear, BUT the flesh which touched the bone was red, not the usual brown/gray of fully cooked.
I figured that the time at that temp should be OK to eat, but I have not convinced myself.

If cooked for 2 hours at 165 it should be perfectly safe. That red coloration near the bone is normal.

I did a little search and and found that there was a paper on the net some time back that detailed the reasons. Here’s the Introduction…

by O. Peter Snyder, Jr., Ph.D.
Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management

A major frustration of foodservice operators is that, very often, chicken parts, believed to have been cooked well done, will still have bloody bones and blood around the bone area, as in the case of the legs, thighs, and wings. A small experiment was performed in order to obtain photographic examples of chicken parts that have been more than adequately pasteurized but would be extremely unacceptable to customers because of blood.

According to the poultry industry, today’s marketed chickens are considerably younger and far more tender than they were years ago. Their bones have not yet matured and are still somewhat soft and porous. As a result, there can be seepage of bone marrow through the soft bone and into the surrounding meat.

When a young chicken is deep chilled, frozen ice crystals form inside the bone. They expand and force the heme out of the marrow through the soft, porous bones. During the cooking process, the tissue will darken in color. Although the appearance is unappetizing, the meat is not harmed when this happens.

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FYI - Here’s a link to the full paper maintained in the Internet Archive…it even has pictures. :slight_smile:

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thank you very much!

You’re most welcome!