Oyster (fowl)

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Position of the oysters in a chicken
Chicken oysters prepared in sesame oil
Chicken Oysters

Oysters are two small, round pieces of dark meat on the back of poultry near the thigh,[1] in the hollow on the dorsal side of the ilium bone. Some regard the "oyster meat" to be the most flavorful and tender part of the bird, while others dislike the taste and texture.

Compared to dark meat found in other parts of the bird, the oyster meat has a somewhat firm/taut texture which gives it a distinct mouth feel. It is also customary for the cook to be given first preference to the oyster meat.

In French, this part of the bird is called sot-l'y-laisse which translates, roughly, to "the fool leaves it there",[2] as unskilled carvers sometimes accidentally leave it on the skeleton.

In popular culture[edit]

In the film Red Dragon, a reference to oysters is what indirectly leads FBI profiler Will Graham to capture serial-killer Hannibal Lecter.

In the French film Amélie reference is also made to a character who buys a chicken once a week and eats the oysters first.

In the U.S. version of the show MasterChef, in Season 5, Episode 13, chicken oysters were used to make a dish served by contestants Elizabeth and Leslie, and they appeared again in Season 7 Episode 8.

In MasterChef Junior, during the finale of Season 2, Samuel served a chicken oyster appetizer as one of his dishes. In Season 5 Episode 8, with her advantage, Jasmine selected the oysters to help her win her way back into the competition after being eliminated in the previous episode.

In the Netflix original series global cooking competition, The Final Table, Season 1, Episode 6: USA the competitors are tasked with creating a thanksgiving meal in a single dish. The team consisting of Charles and Rodrigo served a dish with the turkey oyster as the main component.

In MasterChef: The Professionals, on BBC Two, on 28th November 2018, three competitors began their competition with a skills test set by Monica Galetti to cook chicken oysters with pommes puree.


  1. ^ "How to Carve Chicken and Turkey". Cooks.com. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  2. ^ "Only a Fool Would Leave Them," Bitten, Mark Bittman, New York Times, April 27, 2009