We all know that chicken is one of the cheaper meats you can buy at the grocery store. The National Chicken Council claims that it has been consistently cheaper than both beef and pork since at least the 1960s.
But even among different cuts of chicken, the cost per pound can be radically different, and it’s possible you’re not considering the whole picture when you compare those price tags at your local grocery store.
In 2017, The Kitchn broke down the average cost of different cuts of chicken per pound based on USDA data, compared the average amount of edible meat in each option, and adjusted the prices based on the percentages of edible meat.
The Kitchn found the worst cut of chicken based on the meat-to-price comparison was the boneless breast. They say that boneless chicken breasts, while 100 percent edible, cost $2.96 per pound on average in grocery stores across the United States in 2017.
“We can do better than that, I think.”
Wide Open Eats notes that the news that chicken breasts are the worst value for your buck likely doesn’t come as a shock to anyone who routinely buys chicken based on its per-pound cost. The outlet asserts that the reason chicken breast is so expensive compared to other cuts is simply due to its popularity. People in the United States reportedly have a tendency to choose chicken breasts over other cuts of the bird regardless of the price, so stores tend to discount them less.
Identifying the best cut of chicken to buy also depends a little bit on what you are planning to do with it. The Kitchn states that if you take the bones into consideration, some of the cheaper chicken cuts begin to become more expensive than they appear due to the weight of the bones.
If you’re someone who makes their own stock from every whole chicken they take home, then yes, a whole bird is the way to go, but that’s not always a good idea if you don’t plan to use as much of it as possible.
If you’re only going for the meat, you’re really just throwing money away if you buy a whole chicken. Only about 65 to 70 percent of a whole bird is edible, placing the price of the meat in the neighborhood of $1.65 a pound.
The actual cheapest cut of chicken per pound of edible meat is the whole chicken leg. The Kitchn found this cut was 70 to 75 percent edible and cost an average of $1.36 per pound.
If you’ve never cooked chicken legs before, it’s understandable to be a little intimidated by them. The Kitchn states that you can cook the legs whole or separate the thigh from the drumstick and cook these parts alone.
Separating them at home shouldn’t be difficult, but a grocery store butcher can also do it for you. Chicken legs are a little tougher than other cuts, but their dark meat will reward you with a ton of flavor, and that meat will be ultra-moist if cooked properly.
That last part is important. According to The Kitchn, you can’t just cook a chicken leg in any way you please, as the legs are tougher and more fatty than other chicken cuts. Luckily, chicken legs are used in a variety of cuisines and can be prepared using a ton of different methods, with a recipe out there for everyone.
Once you decide what recipe to use, you may need to separate the chicken leg into two pieces and debone the thigh. It’s not the hardest thing in the world to learn, though. All you need is a sharp knife and you’re well on your way to becoming your own butcher.
Equipped with a few go-to recipes and some simple butchering skills, cooking chicken legs can be just as easy as using other, more pricey cuts of meat.
Read Full Article: https://www.mashed.com/241517/the-worst-cut-of-chicken-you-can-buy/
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