I think the competition chicken skin issue is solved. Let me back up a little...
Harvard 2008 - 20/35
Maine 2009 - 25/29
Harvard 2009 - 31/40
Snowshoe (wings) 2010 - 15/21
That's how we placed in chicken since we started competing. The main issue was with the skin. Judges expect to be able to bite through a chicken thigh without the entire top layer of fat pulling off. As a judge, I can't tell you how many times I've taken a bite of chicken and ended up with a mouthful of rubbery fat. Neither the texture nor taste are enjoyable. I understand, and I don't want my chicken to be like that. It was at Harvard in 2008.
Early last year, I learned the technique of "skin scraping." This is a process where you remove the skin from the chicken thigh, scrape the majority of the fat off the underside, and place it back on the thigh prior to cooking it. The technique looked promising and I couldn't wait to try it at home. It worked pretty well and the skin was fairly bite through without it pulling all the way off. But the meat also ended up a bit dry no matter what I did. Nonetheless, I gave this method a try in Maine and Harvard in 2009. I scored poorly at both of those contests. Even worse, I wasted hours scraping the fat off of those damn chicken skins. I vowed to come up with a new plan so I'd never have to do it again.
After a lot of trial and error over the last couple months, I'm finally happy with the chicken skin. I could tell you how I do it, but then I'd have to kill you. I can tell you that it doesn't involve squeeze butter or muffin pans. And definitely no skin scraping.