Looking to buy chicken by the pound, but not sure how to get the most meat for your dollar? After all, not all cuts have the same bone-to-edible meat ratio, and you want to be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. It turns out, next time you’re at the butcher, there’s one cut you for sure don’t want to buy: the breast.
Kitchn did the analysis and found that the amount of edible meat you get for each pound on the bone makes breasts the worst option for your budget. The adjusted price (Average Retail Price Per Pound ÷ Edible Percentage = Adjusted Price) of boneless chicken breast was $2.96 per pound, costing more than twice the best value option, $1.36 per pound for a leg quarter. For reference, a whole chicken was found to be $1.65 per pound, which means leg quarters were the only cut cheaper per pound than just buying the whole thing.
With chicken, different cuts mean different flavors
The breast is the leanest part of the chicken, and according to Statista it’s the most popular, comprising 61.7% of total chicken sales in 2019. If you know for sure that it’s the cut you want, then be sure to buy it with the bone still in so that you actually get your money’s worth.
“But don’t fall into the trap of cooking mainly with chicken breast,” advises Jamie Oliver’s site. “As well as succulent white meat, the dark meat and different joints have masses to offer.” Wings, for example, are great if you want chicken with deliciously crispy skin. Drumsticks are great for barbecuing. Thighs, which Oliver’s site call “arguably the tastiest part of the chicken,” are darker and firmer.
If you want to maximize your dollar with whole legs, Oliver recommends either roasting them in the oven or grilling them on the barbecue. Try starting with Food & Wine‘s grilled “Chicken Legs Marinated in Yogurt and Spices” or Bon Áppetit‘s “Roast Chicken Legs with Lots of Garlic.”
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