Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chicken Leg Quarters: True or False Economy?

If 10 pounds of chicken leg quarters yields 3 pounds of meat (skin, bones & fat removed), is it as economical as it seems?

The 10 pounds of chicken was 59¢ a pound or $5.90 for the bag of leg quarters. So that means the resulting 3 pounds of chicken meat was actually $1.97 a pound cooked.

Now, let's see how that compares to the cost of boneless white meat chicken. Boneless skinless chicken breasts lose 1/4 to 1/3 their weight depending on how they are cooked. So, pound for pound, they would need to be somewhere between $1.32 and $1.48 a pound to equal 59¢ a pound leg quarters.

But is this comparing apples and oranges? Probably. White meat is healthier for you. Dark meat makes tastier salads and soups. Some recipes only work with one or the other so I will always be buying both. Still in all, I feel better about the time and mess of skinning and boning all those leg quarters if they really are cheaper per pound than boneless skinless breasts would be.

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.