If you were never taught how to find the right cut of chicken, you’re in luck! As chicken experts, we’re going to fill you in on the things to look for when selecting a healthy and tasty cut of protein. Once you know what to look for, you can increase your confidence in the kitchen and churn out more tasty meals.
Learn about the Different Cuts
Chicken is one of the most versatile meats you can cook with. You can eat it plain, add it to soups or casseroles and pick your cooking device – grill, oven, air fryer, roaster, etc. As versatile as this protein is, certain cuts are better than others depending on what you’re making. This is why it helps to know the different parts of the chicken.
- Chicken breasts are the upper part of the chicken that consist of mostly white meat. You can buy them whole, pre-sliced and with the skin on or off.
- Chicken thighs are probably the tastiest part of the chicken because they’re so tender and juicy. You can buy them bone in or bone out and with the skin on or off.
- Chicken wings are cheapest and come on the bone. This dark meat is higher in fat compared to chicken breasts but has delicious rich flavors. Discover three ways to cook chicken wings.
- Like wings, drumsticks come on the bone and are cheap. They’re perfect for grilling in the summer.
- If you prefer, you can leave the drumsticks and thighs whole and eat them as legs. Chicken legs taste great on the grill or in the oven.
Check the “Sell By” Date
When you know what type of chicken cut you need for your meal, you can then work on selecting the freshest piece. Pay attention to the “use by” or “sell by” date. Uncooked chicken usually lasts about 1-2 days after you open it. Without opening, the chicken might have a couple of weeks before the sell by date.
Examine the Chicken
Always examine the cut of chicken before purchasing. Without doing this, you could bring home a piece that’s loaded with preservatives or even partially spoiled. Do not buy chicken that smells sour, has a chemical smell or looks yellow or green.
Shop at the Butcher When Possible
Some of the best cuts of meat come from the butcher or local farmer’s market. They’re usually freshest, and you might even be able to verify where the chickens come from and the diets they’re fed. To save money on these higher quality cuts, consider buying whole chickens and cutting them up yourself. This gives you lots of meat to work with, and you can freeze what you don’t use.
Choosing the right cut of chicken is important, as each cut is unique and offers a slightly different flavor and texture. La Rosa Chicken and Grill gives careful thought to our chickens in order to deliver the freshest, most delicious meals! Hopefully our tips will help you become a master chicken chef as well!