How America Fell in Love with the Chicken Breast, and Why We're Finally Falling Out of It

Categories: Food News

Roast Chicken Thigh.JPG
Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal published an article noting the increased demand for chicken legs at grocery stores. The story claims that shoppers have been driven by TV cooking shows that celebrate dark meat's richer flavor and softer texture. Finally, people have realized: It tastes better.

This is old news to the rest of the world. Ask any Indian chef what cut he prefers for a curry and he'll point to dark meat. Ask a French chef what cut he prefers for braised chicken and he'll point to thighs. The best kebob? Bone in leg pieces -- no question. It's the higher fat content and myoglobin, proteins that result from muscle activity and color the meat, that make for better tasting chicken. It makes you wonder how chicken breasts got so damn popular, but that's easy to figure out.

It goes like this:

Americans eat too much processed foods and they get fat. The USDA tells them eating lean proteins is a great way to improve their health. The poultry industry takes that recommendation to the bank. They pump up birds with all sorts of weird things and breed them to have the biggest breasts possible. Demand drives prices up and the move works perfectly. Suddenly everyone thinks a grilled chicken breast is the key to a slim waistline and buy bags of frozen chicken breasts as a turnkey dietary solution.

We're gullible but we're not stupid, though. Some of us have one grilled chicken sandwich too many and we've realized that dark meat really does taste better when it's cooked properly. And it's a lot more forgiving to cook.

Now, it seems, the dark meat lovers are actually gaining momentum and shifting the economics of poultry. Some producers in the story go as far as saying the demand is causing shortages, and that the problem is getting worse.

Here's hoping the poultry industry employs the best response to this increased demand: letting more chickens walk around instead of confining them to cages. Their breasts might shrink a little, but their legs will fill out, and their entire lives will be much less depressing than the tightly-caged, busty birds we're producing now.

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25 comments
Marlene
Marlene

My friend Tony told me about this single mom that made $4164 in a few weeks on the computer. All she did was work for a few hours a day online. You can see how she did it here lazycash29.com

Tom Super
Tom Super

And for the record, chickens aren't "pumped up" with anything. Hormones and steroids aren't used in chickens. They just have the right ones having sex with each other! 

Howard
Howard

Thirty years ago, I could buy chicken wings really cheap. Then they got popular.  I could buy flank steak, then it got popular.  Brisket?  Cheap and unloved.  Adios, chicken thighs I guess.  What's left?  Pigs feet?

twinwillow
twinwillow

The only breasts I like are "perky" ones. I'm strictly a leg and thigh man!

G_David
G_David

Shouldn't be too long before the guys in the white lab coats genetically engineer the world's first eight-legged chicken.

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

Dammit the idiots need to go back to white meat, and stop driving up the prices of the good stuff.

Might any of this timely "reporting" have anything to do with the new USDA guidelines as to drug usage in pork and poultry? There is always at least three sides to every story 

We are fat because the millions of acres or bread like products that lie between NY and LA, if we stop eating it we can sell it all to the Chinese and make them fat. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Meh.    In my litany of first world problems is:

-that #sshole that speeds down my alley at like 40 MPH.-the squirrels keep gnawing at my pepper plants.-ant mounds.-I didn't have any chix parm  this week (like that tie in?).-Chuy's doesn't serve draft beer.

ps-What is the deal with chilling shots of tequila....sh+ts gross like that.

Guest
Guest

"How American Fell in..."

"the key to a slim waste line"

Did all the editors get laid off or did they call in for 4/20?

LaurenDrewesDaniels
LaurenDrewesDaniels

G_DAVID!!! Stole my thunder! That's exactly what I was thinking. Well, six legs. You took it further with eight. 

SCamp
SCamp

Is that Russian chicken?

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

I think that pests foraging on crops is more than a 1st World problem. Same with ants. I think they fu*k with poor folks, too.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

The ants must be really bad if the Sawx didn't make your list.

And why wouldn't you chill tequilla?

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

maybe im ignorant, but is it cool to chill tequila?  It asinine to shake it, and i dont get the infatuation with putting it in the cooler either

Primi timpano
Primi timpano

Pigs feet are great in menudo. Mucho umami. Pork butt and roasts are still economical and tasty. Can't go wrong with well stewed chicharrones and homemade tortillas. Robert Rodriguez has a great youtube segment on pork tacos.

Primi timpano
Primi timpano

Could do a Kiev. My mom would saute hard with salt, pepper, and oregano, deglaze with wine and sauce it up with sour cream. It was awesome. Now i go half way--minimize the butter and deglaze with marsala.

As for the milanese, same seasoning but dipped in eggs and panko crumbs. Pork tenderloin or chop works well.

Veal still is the ultimate.

And a little parma makes everything taste better. Just ask kergo.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

I've kinda already given up.  Ells is hurt again.  Youka doesn't look good. Lester got eff'ing HAMMERED. BV is an ass. Crawford? No catcher.  No reliever. V.Padilla!  Too many good teams in the AL this year.  This Rangers team is not only one of the best in both leagues, but one of the best teams I've ever seen. I put em right up there with the following GREAT teams:

Late 60's/early 70's Orioles (Palmer, Cuellar, Boog, etc.)1974 A's (my fave team.....Rudi, Tennace, Reggie, Campi)1975 Reds (maybe the greatest team ever....how many H.O.F.er's?)1977 Red Sox (nuff said) Early 90's A'sRecent YanksRecent Sawx

Storm_71
Storm_71

Where have you been? I heard that you where letting the dipshit midget raw dog you?

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