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Dark meat or white meat chicken on salad or pizza

White meat or dark meat: which do people prefer on salads, sandwiches and pizza, and why?

I own a pizza restaurant and I love dark meat. I buy boneless chicken thighs and poach them with garlic and salt and use the meat (in large dice), to add to salads, for hot sandwiches, and on pizza.

We (employees) love our chicken here. It's moist and flavorful. But lately customers have been complaining that they want white meat on their salads. I think white meat is flavorless, but I am gathering that I am in the minority.

Maybe I'm out of it... but is dark meat objectionable to most people?

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  1. I used to hate dark meat as a kid but as I grew up I have come to love dark meat. That being said I love breast meat on sandwiches in one meaty hunk with lots of veggies.

    People are prolly asking for white meat as it is leaner nad therefore perceived as more healthy.

    I would put dark meat on pizza and on hot sandwiches but give people a choice for salads and cold sandwiches.
    But that's just me :)

    1. I think the general public thinks of chicken as chicken breast unless it is a wing or fried (influenced by advertising that makes "all white meat" a great thing). In a service industry I think you have to listen to the customer. Personally I like both depending upon the dish, but I swear there are some people who think dark meat chicken is as "evil" as beef and perhaps even stranger...

      1 Reply
      1. re: torty

        Others can probably shed more scientific light but having grown up in both Taiwan and Central America, I remember the chicken breast as being moist and tender rather than dry and chewy. Even after coming to the US, I'd noticed the American chicken breast is less than tasty.

        With the advent of mondo agribusiness in the US, the American chicken is being raised to produce more breast and shelf life rather than for taste, so for me, the dark meat is what I want if I wanted to taste the chicken. If I was looking for something to fill me up when I am not eating for pleasure then I don't care whether it is breast or dark meat.

      2. If I was ordering a salad with chicken, I would assume it's white meat. I would probably send it back if it came with dark meat (sorry!)

        1 Reply
        1. re: burlgurl

          +1. I would assume white meat on a salad.

        2. I also would assume white meat esp. on a salad. As much as I try to like it, I am not a huge fan of dark meat, it has a slightly more "gamey" taste to me (I know, I'm weird! :-) ). I choose white over dark every time.

          4 Replies
          1. re: poptart

            I guess that makes me weird too :) but I'm with you poptart - the taste is a turnoff for me. And the texture also turns me off too. I would assume a salad in a restaurant is served using white meat. I'd also want it in chicken salad but since I'm really weird and worried that some dark meat might slip in, I rarely if ever order chicken salad out. I never grew out of my aversion to the stuff.

            1. re: pellegrino31

              Another weird one here. It's not about the perception of white meat being healthier, its about the taste and texture. To me, dark meat is slimy.

              I loved drumsticks as a kid (and my kids love them now); not sure when I crossed over to the white meat camp.

              1. re: valerie

                Add me to the weird list. I really don't care for the flavor of dark meat at all. I also grew up on drumsticks and thought white meat was dry. When I became an adult I realized that white meat is generally overcooked by most people. If you do it right it is more delicious than dark, especially with a good sauce or having been marinated.

                If I am served dark meat by a friend or family member I suck it up and eat a thigh, but I don't like it. A little bit of dark meat, along with white meat, mixed into a soup or something else, as long as it is in small pieces I can tolerate, too. If I had it served to me at a restaurant, and it wasn't specified that it was strictly dark meat, I would not be a happy customer. If you put on the menu "Chicken pizza, all dark meat" then I would just skip it.Thanks for asking!

                1. re: danhole

                  I'm in this same camp --- and I think most people these days are.

                  Another thing about the dark meat is that it's more likely to have "stuff" attached, like gristle or skin or fat, whereas with white meat it's just a chunk of meat. That aspect of dark meat puts me off. (Ever since my brother pointed out a vein in a drumstick so many years ago....)

          2. I do like dark meat. I also like chicken breast if it is seasoned well. You might need to do more with it, but white meat may make the customers happy.