While experts argue whether goat or pork is the most consumed meat in the world, chicken seems to be pretty popular when you look at statistics from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.1 We’ve got restaurants that are solely based on sales of chicken and according to Farmer’s Trend Market Sales, sales for chicken are up 4% in 2017. 2
Chicken breast has often been suggested as part of a healthy diet because it’s a lean protein choice that’s easy to prepare. While skinless chicken is popular, you may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater by not buying the whole bird. Here’s a few reasons why.
- Chicken breast can cost anywhere from $2.99 per pound to $8.99 per pound for organic. A whole chicken may run you as little as $1.49 per pound on sale to $3.99 at most groceries.
- There are lots of recipes you can make with a whole chicken. Chicken thighs are great baked or grilled, while chicken breast is often used for chicken salad or sandwiches. Chicken wings make a great appetizer.
- A rotisserie chicken is a great option for people with no time, talent or patience to cook. Most chickens cost less per pound to purchase already prepared and have a variety of flavor profiles to choose from. If you want to start from scratch, a whole chicken can be cooked in a crock pot by seasoning the cavity and placing the whole bird in the pot on low. No liquid required.
- When you purchase a full chicken, you’re typically going to have leftovers to use in other dishes. Try chicken tacos, chicken casserole, chicken stir fry or add diced chicken to a salad. The carcass can be used to make chicken stock.
- There’s something to be said about chicken that is still attached to the bone compared to boneless chicken. It tends to be juicier and more flavorful than separated chicken parts. Chefs note that the bones serve to insulate the meat, which slows the cooking time and helps retain moisture. 3