Thursday, September 21, 2023

Buying whole chicken may still be better for your budget

By Elizabeth Poisson Poultry Times staff

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GAINESVILLE, Ga. — There are so many types of chicken at the grocery store like whole chickens, chicken parts and frozen chicken.

Many people believe that buying chicken parts is more convenient because there are no bones in the meat, and they are easier to cook. Apart from the legs, buying chicken parts is more expensive than getting a whole chicken. There are also fewer options for preparation. Some of the differences include:


On average, people save $10 a week when they buy the whole bird according to said whole chickens include two breasts, two legs, two drumsticks, the wings, the bones, the skin and the insides. In 2019, the USDA reported that the average price of a whole chicken was $1.28. Also in 2019, boneless thighs cost $2.48 a pound, boneless breasts cost $2.37 a pound, bone in breasts cost $1.65 a pound, bone in thighs cost $1.36 a pound, drumsticks cost $1.28 a pound and legs $1.07 a pound.

The cost was less than the pre-cut thighs and breasts. The cheapest individual parts of the chicken are the legs. However, a person would still be better off buying the whole bird rather than just the legs because they will end up with more meat.

Now, with inflation at 9.72 percent, the average bird costs about $3.31 according to Chickens parts cost $73.82 a year with a 10.69 percent inflation rate.

Health benefits said the whole chicken will remain fresher for much longer because the chicken was packed on the same day it was processed. Chicken that has been cut up and pre-packaged has gone through many machines. It has been touched by many hands before being put in the store. The meat has also been exposed to air which could further any spoilage. When buying a whole chicken, the risk of getting sick from the bird is more minimal.

Butchering the chicken

Slicing up the chicken is much easier than people think. When separating the parts from the chicken, the carcass and neck can be used to make stock. Divide the legs, thighs, breasts and wings into pieces. Then proceed to slice the wing tips at the joint and add them to the pile in which they will be used for broth. Take the individual parts that were just cut up and cook them the way packaged chicken would have been cooked.


If an individual cooks the entire bird, they will only get one meal. Nevertheless, if they cut it up into the chicken into parts, they get more meals. A person can get at least two meals out of one bird.

For instance, the breasts are good for making cutlets and the legs can be used for roasting or braising. The wings can be seasoned and roasted, fried, grilled or many other different preparation methods.

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