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Why are chicken breasts so HUGE?

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TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:07 AM

Am I the only person that thinks the size of chicken breast halves have gotten to be ridiculously huge? My family consists of just me, and my 15 year old daughter. We both have small to average appetites. Because we're on a budget, we eat a lot of chicken.

in the US, the majority of adults are dealing with weight issues. Luckily, we're not. But the serving size for chicken is 4 oz. It used to be the "average" boneless chicken breast weighed in at about 4-5 oz., but in the past few years I've noticed they're getting larger and larger. Now I'm bringing home breasts that often weigh in at 12+ oz. each!!!

How many families cook ONE chicken breast half, and divide it among three people? None, I bet. So people are either eating MUCH more than they should, or wasting a whole lotta food.

The bone-in breasts are just as bad. I bought a package of three bone-in breast halves yesterday - and the package weighed 4.25 ibs. That means each breast half weighs almost 1.5 lbs.!

Most recipes which use whole boneless (or bone-in) breasts are written for breasts iin the 4-6 oz. range. I used to make a lot of stuffed boneless breasts for freezing (such as Chicken Kiev, Chicken Cordon Bleu, etc.) but I can't do that anymore because there is NO way either one of us can eat an entire 12 oz. breast. I've been unsuccessful in my attempts to cut the boneless breasts in half before stuffing (wrong shape - I can't get the stuffing properly enclosed). Cutting them in half after cooking makes the fillling leak out - so one of us gets it all, while the other gets none.

It's aggravating. If I knew who to complain to, I would.

Maybe we should start a petition or something!

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  1. Bada Bing RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:15 AM

    Yeah, I've wondered about this, too. "How big was that whole bird?" I've asked myself.

    Make Chicken Kiev out of one of those things and you've got trouble: Chicken Kiev-zilla, the Attack of the Killer Kiev, something like that.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bada Bing
      t
      TwirlyGirly RE: Bada Bing Jan 9, 2012 09:18 AM

      I remember when I used to buy the "family pack" of boneless breasts at Stop & Shop, there would be 10-12 breast halves in the package. Now there are six, but the package weighs the same. It's crazy.

      1. re: Bada Bing
        goodhealthgourmet RE: Bada Bing Jan 9, 2012 12:08 PM

        "How big was that whole bird?" I've asked myself.
        ~~~~~~~~~
        sadly, probably not much bigger than its ancestors in any area other than the breast...and as a result it likely spent most of its life barely able to move or walk around because its breast area was too disproportionately enormous and heavy for its frame to bear. if you ever see a video of those Frankenbreasted chickens it'll break your heart.

        1. re: Bada Bing
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          Nanzi RE: Bada Bing Jun 19, 2014 10:33 AM

          And where are the giant thighs???

          1. re: Nanzi
            j
            jbsiegel RE: Nanzi Jun 19, 2014 11:49 AM

            I think they're there. Chicken thighs have definitely gotten bigger as well. Not so on the drumsticks.

            Hmmm...spindly little legs?? ;-)

        2. k
          katecm RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:30 AM

          I used to portion them down, but finally got so grossed out by the thought of what hormones are going into them to get them so large, I stopped. But if you're eating them for budget reasons, it's not reasonable for you to turn around and buy free range, non hormone chickens either. I totally sympathize. They're quite gross to think about, and I also think they end up without flavor.

          3 Replies
          1. re: katecm
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            NotJuliaChild RE: katecm Jan 9, 2012 09:48 AM

            Federal law prohibits the use of hormones in poultry.

            1. re: NotJuliaChild
              JayL RE: NotJuliaChild Nov 23, 2013 01:45 PM

              Most people don't realize this and continue to falsly purport that hormones are being injected in their poultry.

              1. re: JayL
                j
                jpc8015 RE: JayL Jun 19, 2014 10:04 AM

                Every chicken in the USA can legally be labeled "all natural".

          2. Njchicaa RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:32 AM

            I regularly cut them in half. I don't like chicken so it is all I can do to choke down half of one for dinner. I can't imagine anyone eating a whole one.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Njchicaa
              EWSflash RE: Njchicaa Feb 4, 2012 04:59 PM

              Why do you eat chicken at all if you don't like it?

            2. bobabear RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:38 AM

              I had the same thought and used the buy the frozen chicken breasts from Costco. I switched to the frozen chicken tenderloins which are perfect size - 2 chicken tenderloins are perfect for me in my dinner dish. Of course that means I can't do stuffed chicken breast and have to modify my cooking times a bit, but it's worth it.

              Your voice may have been heard though! I saw a new offering at Costco (yes.. I'm addicted) a few weeks ago - smaller chicken breasts. It was called half chicken breasts or something like that, but was half the thickness of regular chicken breasts and sounded like a good idea! Maybe regular grocery stores will start selling that as well?

              6 Replies
              1. re: bobabear
                hotoynoodle RE: bobabear Jan 9, 2012 09:44 AM

                "half-chicken breasts" just sounds like costco is already cutting them up for you.

                these pamela anderson birds are from genetic engineering and generous amounts of antibiotics in the feed:

                Antibiotics have been used on poultry in large quantities since the 1940s, when it was found that the byproducts of antibiotic production, fed because the antibiotic-producing mold had a high level of vitamin B12 after the antibiotics were removed, produced higher growth than could be accounted for by the vitamin B12 alone. Eventually it was discovered that the trace amounts of antibiotics remaining in the byproducts accounted for this growth.
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                americans prefer white meat. careful what you wish for.

                we prefer legs and thighs which don't seem to have gotten larger in proportion, so i am unsure that these birds are able to stand up well at all. the dark meat remains much cheaper too, thanks to all you breast buyers. :)

                1. re: hotoynoodle
                  m
                  mateo21 RE: hotoynoodle Jan 9, 2012 12:34 PM

                  Err... Careful what you say -- I am unaware of any genetic engineering going on in poultry these days. I am curious about the antibiotic and growth link, do you have a source for that?

                  1. re: mateo21
                    b
                    benbenberi RE: mateo21 Jan 9, 2012 01:12 PM

                    Probably not "genetic engineering" in the creepy splicing-weird-genes-into-the-mix sense, but definitely the product of deliberate breeding for disproportionately large breasts. Bleahhh.

                    1. re: benbenberi
                      s
                      sandylc RE: benbenberi Jan 9, 2012 01:19 PM

                      Yes, I think so, too. The lifespan of a chicken being relatively short, several generations of changes can happen pretty fast.

                    2. re: mateo21
                      hotoynoodle RE: mateo21 Jan 9, 2012 02:33 PM

                      if the phrase "genetic engineering" makes you uncomfortable, call it "selective breeding", maybe. same difference. just like pedigree dog and cat breeders "select" for certain traits.

                      this happens with ALL food-producing animals.

                      links to articles about antibiotics and chicken growth.

                      http://www.fmi.org/docs/media/bg/anti...
                      http://www.jhsph.edu/bin/s/a/antibiot...

                      in the "normal" life cycle of a chicken, it takes about 20 weeks to reach maturity. commercial birds are ready in 5-6 weeks.

                      1. re: mateo21
                        Caroline1 RE: mateo21 Jan 12, 2014 11:14 AM

                        PBS recently did an interesting "Frontline" documentary on the subject. You can check it out here:

                        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontli...

                        And here is a paragraph taken out of context:
                        "Some, including the FDA, believe the overuse of Baytril, an antibiotic used to treat sick birds, led to an increase in treatment-resistant bacterial infections in humans. Baytril is used by poultry growers to protect chickens and turkeys from E. coli infection. The size of commercial chicken flocks precludes testing and treating individual birds, so when a veterinarian diagnoses one infected bird, farmers treat the whole flock by adding the drug to its drinking water. General use of Baytril, therefore, falls in the gray area between therapeutic and sub-therapeutic."

                        I know for sure, based on agribusiness' practice of misleading and spin-doctoring any way they can in order to maximize their bottom line, that I would be stupid to believe much of what agribusiness SAYS about their food products' quality.

                        For example, consider Foster Farms chicken. Here is a link to their webpage. Read carefully what they say about their chicken:

                        http://www.fosterfarmsfoodsafety.com/

                        Be sure to read their statement on probiotics. I copy and paste it here:

                        "Probiotics
                        Foster Farms chickens are fed probiotics to naturally improve their ability to fight Salmonella."

                        And that practice also accomplishes the desired side effect of promoting growth through the use of antibiotics. Coincidence? Not in my book!

                        They also feed their chickens a "healthy" diet of soybean meal. Soybeans are one of the most plant estrogen rich foods on the planet. So much so that those plant estrogens are used to treat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms in human females! Estrogen (more specifically estradiol) is the HORMONE OF CHOICE used to promote rapid growth in commercially raised food animals. Another coincidence here? Fat chance!!!

                        It is ever more difficult to sustain a truly healthy diet, in the clinical sense of the word, by feeding your family with mass produced, mass marketed "grocery store" foods from American agribusiness suppliers. Sad, but true!

                  2. g
                    GH1618 RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:40 AM

                    Suggestion: chicken salad

                    1. Terrie H. RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:44 AM

                      I agree. I tend to buy the legs more than the breasts, but it's the same. I call them "dinosaur" chickens. This is where you get what you pay for. If you look into buying chicken from hormone-free suppliers, you'll see the difference.

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: Terrie H.
                        r
                        redfish62 RE: Terrie H. Jan 9, 2012 09:50 AM

                        It is against federal law to give poultry hormones, all suppliers are hormone-free

                        1. re: redfish62
                          Terrie H. RE: redfish62 Jan 9, 2012 02:17 PM

                          Thank you for letting me know. I seem to have been mislead by the labeling that hormone free was a special feature of the chicken I was buying. Apparently, I need to do a bit of reading...

                          1. re: Terrie H.
                            m
                            mpjmph RE: Terrie H. Jan 9, 2012 02:26 PM

                            the labeling is misleading. There have actually been lawsuits between Perdue and Tyson based on the use of "hormone free" in advertising when all chicken in the US is hormone free.

                            1. re: mpjmph
                              goodhealthgourmet RE: mpjmph Jan 9, 2012 03:25 PM

                              all chicken in the US is hormone free.
                              ~~~~~~~~~
                              there's no such thing as a "hormone-free" chicken (or turkey, or duck, or sheep or cow...you get the idea). the issue is that growth hormones aren't *added* to chicken feed.

                              and yes, the labeling is misleading because it makes the consumer think that they're getting a better, cleaner option and avoiding hormonally-enhanced chicken by choosing that brand. it's like labeling plain yogurt "gluten-free" or bottled water "calorie-free."

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                Jetgirly RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 10, 2012 01:34 PM

                                My bubble bath is labelled gluten-free!

                                1. re: Jetgirly
                                  John E. RE: Jetgirly Jan 10, 2012 04:50 PM

                                  I have a box of Mr. Bubble powder bubble bath and it says right on the box to keep it dry. That box has lasted me for decades.

                                  1. re: John E.
                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: John E. Jan 10, 2012 06:25 PM

                                    hahaha!

                                    1. re: John E.
                                      EWSflash RE: John E. Feb 4, 2012 05:00 PM

                                      LOL

                                2. re: mpjmph
                                  f
                                  ferret RE: mpjmph Feb 2, 2012 10:18 AM

                                  The USDA is very specific about using such claims in labeling:

                                  "Hormones are not allowed in raising hogs or poultry. Therefore, the claim "no hormones added" cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says "Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.""

                              2. re: redfish62
                                m
                                mike0989 RE: redfish62 Aug 21, 2013 07:43 AM

                                Not only that, it's a waste of money. Chicken come to market size so fast anyway that adding hormones makes no sense.

                                It doesn't prevent them from breeding them for a larger breast though. You see the same thing going on with turkeys. There is a preference among many for white meat so they are breeding the birds to produce larger breasts.

                                1. re: mike0989
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                                  Nanzi RE: mike0989 Aug 21, 2013 09:49 AM

                                  And I want to know where the turkey thighs go. They are never in the stores anymore, I've checked several. What the heck are they using them for, that we can't get them whole any more???

                                  1. re: Nanzi
                                    John E. RE: Nanzi Aug 21, 2013 10:07 AM

                                    We frequently see turkey drumsticks and thighs in our grocery stores, but then again, we live in Minnesota which is a large turkey producing state.

                                    1. re: Nanzi
                                      s
                                      sandylc RE: Nanzi Aug 21, 2013 10:14 AM

                                      Pet food, maybe?

                                      1. re: Nanzi
                                        LindaWhit RE: Nanzi Aug 21, 2013 10:54 AM

                                        Perhaps into ground turkey? I don't think it's always white meat in the grind, although I could be mistaken.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                          s
                                          sandylc RE: LindaWhit Aug 21, 2013 11:10 AM

                                          That seems likely. I don't think people would care for all-white-meat ground turkey as much as they would a mix of white and dark.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                            John E. RE: LindaWhit Aug 21, 2013 11:31 AM

                                            Hotdogs.

                                          2. re: Nanzi
                                            bagelman01 RE: Nanzi Aug 21, 2013 11:45 AM

                                            Readily available in our supermarkets here in south central Connecticut. I grill them for our dogs at least once a week.

                                            Also, if you see 93% lean ground turkey it's goit dark meat in it, only the 99% lean is all breast

                                            1. re: Nanzi
                                              j
                                              jpc8015 RE: Nanzi Jun 19, 2014 10:11 AM

                                              Ground turkey and turkey sausages are commonly made with thighs.

                                        2. re: Terrie H.
                                          s
                                          sr44 RE: Terrie H. Jan 12, 2014 12:39 PM

                                          Marilyns and thunder thighs I call them.

                                        3. hotoynoodle RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:45 AM

                                          americans are not getting fat eating boneless, skinless chicken meat. (unless you count nuggets.)

                                          1. n
                                            NotJuliaChild RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:47 AM

                                            The movie Food, Inc discusses this issue. I recommend it.

                                            Cooks Illustrated recommends putting a breat in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm it up, then using a Chef's knife to cut it in half. The cut should parallel the surface of the cutting board, so you're cutting across the breast lengthwise instead of down through it from the top.

                                            This would give you the portion size you want as well as double the number of portions you get from a package of chicken. That should help with budgeting issues.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: NotJuliaChild
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                                              TwirlyGirly RE: NotJuliaChild Jan 9, 2012 11:13 AM

                                              Unfortunately, that isn't going to work if you want to stuff it - especially for Kiev or Cordon Bleu or any other filling that's going to melt. The CI method for stuffing beast halves is to butterfly the breast half, so it ends up looking heart-shaped and is 1/2 the original thickness. With the pointed end closest to you, the filling is placed slightly below center, then the breast is rolled up from the pointy end. Once the filling is enclosed, the wider edges are folded in towards the center and you finish rolling. That keeps the filling completely enclosed and prevents leakage. If you were to cut it into two thinner cutlets first, each cutlet would be too thin to butterfly.

                                              1. re: TwirlyGirly
                                                John E. RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                So just do it the way ATK suggests and pound it so it is thinner.

                                            2. p
                                              PAO RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:52 AM

                                              I've thought the same myself. Even organic free range chickens sold in stores have humongous breasts. I find myself having to adjust the recipe to account for it.

                                              1. Karl S RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 10:20 AM

                                                Because they are using large roaster chickens for parts instead of broiler-fryers. (Broiler-fryers are rarely present in the supermarket, because they are used for fast food and prepared chicken meals, et cet.)

                                                What you have to do is buy a 3lb chicken yourself and joint it.....

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: Karl S
                                                  RetiredChef RE: Karl S Jan 9, 2012 10:40 AM

                                                  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

                                                  That my friends is the winning answer.

                                                  Supply and demand, the smaller breasts go to larger users and very rarely make it the consumer market so you get stuck with the leftovers.

                                                  Also there are no hormones in Chickens produced in the US and many suppliers are injecting breasts today with sodium solutions to plump them up and make extra money. They claim it gives them better flavor (it does) but the real reason is 1 oz of sodium solution costs less than a penny but you will end up paying $ .15 - $ .55 for that salt water in each breast.

                                                  1. re: Karl S
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                                                    TwirlyGirly RE: Karl S Jan 9, 2012 11:18 AM

                                                    Those are getting more difficult to find, too!! Up to about six months ago, my local Stop and Shop sold 2 packs of broiler/fryers - each bird was about 3 1/2 -4 lbs. I loved those! One I kept whole for roasting, the other I'd cut up for recipes. They no longer carry those, and only rarely do they have the single broiler/fryers. It's all about the roasters, and they're 6+ lbs. Heck, our Thanksgiving turkey was only 10.5 lbs and we got two weeks worth of meals out of it. The last thing I want is a week's worth of chicken from one bird - especially if I'm wanting to roast it.

                                                    1. re: TwirlyGirly
                                                      Karl S RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 11:36 AM

                                                      KFC, McDonalds, Banquet, et cet., all want to sell small chickens by the piece. (And fryers are the *right* size for frying - pieces from roasting chickens are *not*.) This trend has been going on for a couple of decades; the current depression has merely driven the nails in the coffin lid.

                                                      And soooooo many people wonder why recipes expressly designed for 3-4 lb chickens don't work as well for 6lb chickens (and their parts). Actually, they don't wonder that, because they don't even realize that's an important part of the problem with why their chicken is so dry....

                                                      1. re: Karl S
                                                        k
                                                        kimbercin RE: Karl S Apr 1, 2012 08:31 AM

                                                        Why do you feel this (larger breast) makes the chicken dry? I only ask because I have noticed mine have that problem, but I was thinking it was because I was buying skinless/boneless variety and never had that problem before..

                                                        1. re: Karl S
                                                          juster RE: Karl S Jun 19, 2014 10:13 AM

                                                          ? Wouldnt't a larger chicken be less thoroughly cooked and dryer than a smaller chicken?

                                                      2. re: Karl S
                                                        caseyjo RE: Karl S Jan 10, 2012 06:07 AM

                                                        This is what I do. I have to go smaller local or ethnic markets to get these, as other places only have the giant ones (if they have whole chickens at all).

                                                        I certainly sympathize with those who have less options for grocery shopping. I've noticed in the big supermarkets, it can be hard to even find whole chickens. When they do have them, they seem to be all the same size (I mean, exactly the same size. Definitely freaks me out a little bit.). I've even had a hard time finding bone-in thighs. Seriously, if I wanted boneless skinless, I can take off the skin and debone myself!

                                                      3. z
                                                        ZPrice RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 10:55 AM

                                                        It costs more per pound but I buy them already sliced. I was in Super Walmart a few weeks ago (in Severn, MD) and they were selling organic, free-range chicken. The price per pound was $4.39. I weighed the slices when I arrived home and each was 4 oz (4 slices per pound). Perfect!!

                                                        1. John E. RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                          The reason chicken breasts are so large these days is because the chickens are vain and their breasts have been enhanced.

                                                          10 Replies
                                                          1. re: John E.
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                                                            sandylc RE: John E. Jan 9, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                            Ha! Better watch it - I've had posts removed for being "jokey"!

                                                            1. re: John E.
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                                                              TwirlyGirly RE: John E. Jan 9, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                              ROTFLOLPIMP!!!!

                                                              1. re: John E.
                                                                scubadoo97 RE: John E. Jan 10, 2012 10:56 AM

                                                                I'll take a chance

                                                                 
                                                                1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                  Veggo RE: scubadoo97 Jan 10, 2012 11:03 AM

                                                                  That is one well-built beer can chicken!

                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                    huiray RE: scubadoo97 Jan 10, 2012 11:13 AM

                                                                    Looks faintly disgusting. ;-)

                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                      Bada Bing RE: scubadoo97 Jan 10, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                                      Well, that bird can't say, "Hey, look at the eyes..."

                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                        Karl S RE: scubadoo97 Jan 10, 2012 12:45 PM

                                                                        Tangelo-enhanced chicken breasts. Next it will be capezzoli di Venere.

                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                          TheHuntress RE: scubadoo97 Feb 3, 2012 05:49 AM

                                                                          LOL! Very artistic!

                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                            boyzoma RE: scubadoo97 Mar 24, 2012 04:53 PM

                                                                            Actually, i reminds me of YODA!

                                                                            1. re: boyzoma
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                                                                              latindancer RE: boyzoma Mar 24, 2012 05:07 PM

                                                                              Haha! I was thinking the same thing !

                                                                        2. redchief RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 11:33 AM

                                                                          In terms of making a stuffed chicken breast dish, you could simply make one large chicken breast, then slice on the diagonal for serving.

                                                                          You might check out some smaller, or ethnic groceries for smaller chicken breasts. They are certainly hard to find at the big box grocery stores.

                                                                          1. alliegator RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                                            I've noticed it as well. I'm often feeding just myself, so I usually butterfly, then cut the breast in half. I prepare the nicer looking half as prefered for my dinner, then cook up the "ugly" half as strips to be used for a salad or quesadilla later.

                                                                            1. monavano RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                                              I was just thinking this too! I bought a package of boneless, skinless breasts for creamy fettucine, broccilo and chicken. I wanted to pan sear the chicken and cut it up. I thought I'd use 3 breasts but stopped at 2 because they were ginormous.

                                                                              1. m
                                                                                MiriamWoodstock RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 11:43 AM

                                                                                As others have mentioned, this is due to breeding designed to get the most white meat (what people like) out of the bird, and they are bred to grow so fast (saves time and money), that the rest of their bodies can barely support this new weight, and they lead unhealthy and short lives. That's what I learned from Food Inc, the movie, at least.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: MiriamWoodstock
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                                                                                  sandylc RE: MiriamWoodstock Jan 9, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                                                  And we LOVE dark meat in my family! Flavorful and moist - love those chicken thighs!

                                                                                  1. re: sandylc
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    tonifi RE: sandylc Jan 9, 2012 02:40 PM

                                                                                    Two possible solutions..
                                                                                    1: Buy chicken thighs instead. Unless you dislike dark meat, the thighs are often much more budget-friendly, and can be purchased boneless or skinless, whatever you prefer. They lend themselves pretty well to 'stuffing' type recipes, instead of cutting a pocket, roll them around your butter or cheese or whatever, and secure with toothpicks or a small skewer or tie with cooking twine.
                                                                                    2. Look for the lower-end grocery stores. The chicken parts are often more reasonably sized, and less expensive. You want the kind of place where you bag your own groceries and the displays are cut open cardboard boxes...I find packages of 4-5 oz chicken breasts at our local Save-A-Lot.

                                                                                    1. re: tonifi
                                                                                      t
                                                                                      TwirlyGirly RE: tonifi Jan 9, 2012 05:01 PM

                                                                                      I'll check out some of the smaller stores if I can. My choices are a bit limited (no car/use a wheelchair/must be on bus route).

                                                                                      I posted because I was interested to see if others had noticed the difference in breast size over what they had been just a few years ago - and whether it bothered anyone else. It seems like it isn't just my imagination - the breasts ARE larger - considerably so. And, it also appears many others would prefer supermarkets offer a more reasonable (smaller) size. Perhaps all of use should tell the butchers of our preference at our local stores, and/or drop an email to the companies that supply chicken to our area. If enough people complain, maybe they'll do something about it. Probably not, but it doesn't hurt to try.

                                                                                      1. re: TwirlyGirly
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        sandylc RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 07:47 PM

                                                                                        MIght whole chickens be cheaper? Roasted or poached whole chicken is much tastier than pieces and the leftovers can be used for chicken salad, chicken enchiladas, chicken soup, etc.

                                                                                      2. re: tonifi
                                                                                        h
                                                                                        holypeaches RE: tonifi Aug 22, 2013 08:47 PM

                                                                                        To expand on tonifi idea of rolling thighs there is no reason you can not apply this to a large breast. After splitting parallel to the cutting board and pounding it out simply fill, roll then secure.
                                                                                        Other ideas to maximize your usage is being planning multiple uses for each breast. For example from one bone in breast is slice enough for a stir fry for two then poach the rest for chicken salad. Another is cube enough for a pasta or casserole and make a soup. (For soup poach just the bone until you can pull all the meat off then make a quick stock with aromatics). This way you can easily get proper portions without leftovers.
                                                                                        For my family of two I easily get 2 dinners out of each one.

                                                                                  2. bagelman01 RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 06:52 PM

                                                                                    If you are willing to buy frozen chicken you can easilly solve your problem.
                                                                                    Perdue packs 18-24 ounce bags that contain individually packaged breasts weighing betweek 3.5 and 4 ounces.
                                                                                    Here in New England I have seen these in both Stop and Shop and Market Basket.
                                                                                    These are the same size breasts that Purdue packs for food service use for gfrilled cheicken sandwiches or the add on to a caesar salad, thus the size.

                                                                                    Back when I was in the catering business we could order frozen chicken breasts buy the case in 2 ounce size increments from 6 ounce to 12 ounce .

                                                                                    >>>>>
                                                                                    also in response to your xommentys downthread about the size of bonein breasts. The Fierdale (SP?) Farms brand that is carried at IGA stores in New England, such as Adams and Porricellis (supplied by Bozzuto's) tend to run about 10-12 ounces per breast half, packed 4 in the tray and usually under Three pounds. About every 6 weeks they promote them at 99 cents per pound.
                                                                                    I buy them and bone them to grill for our dogs, at that price it;s cheaper thanh their dog food and better.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01
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                                                                                      TwirlyGirly RE: bagelman01 Jan 10, 2012 05:25 AM

                                                                                      Question about Perdue - do you happen to know if their frozen boneless breasts are "enhanced" with either brine or broth? I won't buy "enhanced" chicken, for two reasons. First, I prefer to brine the chicken myself, if I think it needs it according to how I'm preparing it. Second, it can really interfere with browning if you're pan-searing the breast half whole or have cut it into strips for a stir-fry. By the time the meat releases all that liquid and begins to brown, it's already overcooked.

                                                                                      1. re: TwirlyGirly
                                                                                        bagelman01 RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 10, 2012 11:54 AM

                                                                                        no enhancement in this product. we buy them for our daughter at college

                                                                                    2. iL Divo RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 07:05 PM

                                                                                      "Why are chicken breasts so HUGE"

                                                                                      because they got implants................... bahduhbing

                                                                                      I bought 2 large pkgs of them yesterday with intention of having them around for when the kid is here and adores anything chicken.
                                                                                      those breasts are large but I took one out last night before freezing them and told hubby it was going to be a very simple dinner. with his car accident we'd been to too many Drs. during the day and police dept and I wasn't in the mood to do something fancy. I slit it in half and dinner was perfect size for both of us, with a little rice and green beans, salad, so didn't need whole ones. would have been too much.......

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                        s
                                                                                        sandylc RE: iL Divo Jan 9, 2012 07:48 PM

                                                                                        Hope he's O.K. Good luck with insurance, attorneys, doctors, etc. for the next year. Keep your chin up!

                                                                                        1. re: sandylc
                                                                                          iL Divo RE: sandylc Jan 10, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                                                          thanks sandy

                                                                                          he's gonna be ok, not back to work yet.
                                                                                          after Dr.s apt. yesterday we got lunch then back home to rest.

                                                                                          no chicken for us for next few days, but I'm not complaining about getting larger breasts, it means I get more for my dollars is all. I just can't eat that much and he doesn't need to, just cause it's on a plate [a huge chicken breast] doesn't mean you have to eat it.

                                                                                          still no police report and waiting to see what the cell phone talking young mom of 2 little ones in the back seat said about why she hit him sitting at a stop light. she never got out of the car to check on my husband who was taken away in an ambulance and all he heard was her telling her little kids to shut up. oh well, poster child of a great mother.

                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                            s
                                                                                            sandylc RE: iL Divo Jan 10, 2012 10:09 AM

                                                                                            Oh dear. Good luck.

                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                              huiray RE: iL Divo Jan 10, 2012 10:37 AM

                                                                                              My sympathies. Make chicken soup with the extra meat. :-)

                                                                                              Funny, the three times I've been hit by another car, in the last 9-10 years - twice was when I was stopped at a red light (hit from the back, no damage both times, young woman driver both times); once in the rear right passenger door (damage, woman driver) when proceeding through a 4-way stop [I had almost cleared it, I had right-of-way].

                                                                                              1. re: huiray
                                                                                                iL Divo RE: huiray Jan 10, 2012 07:45 PM

                                                                                                his baby, the mustang is no doubt totaled.
                                                                                                waiting for insurance adjusters to go pay it a visit in the fix it shop.
                                                                                                we'll go to the sheriff dept again tomorrow to see what's going on.

                                                                                                oh he had 6 ft. he's a stickler with a certain amount in between him and any car at a stop, so no fault was his at all. but, don't expect the non caring woman to admit to being on her cell either.

                                                                                                extra rich chicken broth, what's better than that? oh, dumplings in it of course *) and moist delicate pieces of flavorful chicken

                                                                                        2. Veggo RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 08:10 PM

                                                                                          I sometimes cut a pocket and stuff with gruyere and sauteed huitlacoche, then bake... pretty tasty.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Veggo
                                                                                            iL Divo RE: Veggo Jan 10, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                                                            ...want to take 2 of mine out of freezer and slice in half then pound & make a good garlic/parsley butter roll up and stuff, then coat for a kiev type baked chicken......

                                                                                          2. huiray RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:03 PM

                                                                                            I can't remember the last time I bought chicken breasts. So - don't much care.

                                                                                            Dark meat - legs, thighs, leg quarters -- that sort of thing -- is what i buy and eat, other than whole chickens. Cheaper too, as others have said. Don't care for white meat except when I do cook it as part of the whole bird, and even then the thighs and legs get attacked first, then the wings, then the white meat, unless it's Hainanese Chicken then I'll eat the white meat together with the dark.

                                                                                            Some folks might also find this previous CH thread interesting: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/762118
                                                                                            :-)

                                                                                            27 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                                                              rockandroller1 RE: huiray Jan 10, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                                              100% agree here. If you are on a budget, why are you buying chicken breasts, which are more expensive per pound than any other cut, and don't leave you with any bones to make stock or broth. You'd get much more reasonable servings, more variety and better taste (and smaller breasts) by buying whole chickens instead of breasts, or at least mix in some legs and thighs in there. And retooling your cooking and recipes so the meat is a flavoring ingredient instead of the main dish all the time also makes your dollar go further. I can pretty much guarantee you our grandparents (or great grands for you youngsters) were not buying big value packs of chicken breasts to "stretch their dollar" during the depression. They were using bones to make soup and having that as a meal, cooking less expensive cuts like thighs or whole legs, using a small bit of ham to flavor a rice-based dish, eating liver, frying up chicken livers for example, lots of other things rather than spending through the nose to buy chicken breasts.

                                                                                              1. re: rockandroller1
                                                                                                Karl S RE: rockandroller1 Jan 10, 2012 09:32 AM

                                                                                                Actually, the reason Herbert Hoover echoed King Henri IV of France in the goal of a "chicken in every pot" was that chicken was so dear that it was Sabbath/Sunday food; pork and, in some parts of the country (not the South, for example), beef and even veal were cheaper for parts of the year.

                                                                                                1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                  rockandroller1 RE: Karl S Jan 10, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                                                                  Exactly.

                                                                                                  1. re: rockandroller1
                                                                                                    huiray RE: rockandroller1 Jan 10, 2012 11:18 AM

                                                                                                    All true.

                                                                                                    Yet in modern times it is still interesting that the preference in the USA (if not the "West" as a whole) is for white chicken meat/chicken breasts, versus dark meat (legs, thighs, etc) in the East (i.e. E/SE Asia and other places) where the folks prize such dark meat for their greater juiciness, taste and texture and such meat costs MORE than chicken breasts which is thought to be dry and flavorless by comparison.

                                                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                                                      RUK RE: huiray Jan 10, 2012 12:04 PM

                                                                                                      "Yet in modern times it is still interesting that the preference in the USA (if not the "West" as a whole) is for white chicken meat/chicken breasts, versus dark meat (legs, thighs, etc) "
                                                                                                      Looking at the different cuts of Chicken at the supermarkets and the general preference noted in my larger family here, I would seriously doubt that. I honestly think it is a fairly even mix.

                                                                                                      1. re: RUK
                                                                                                        huiray RE: RUK Jan 10, 2012 12:09 PM

                                                                                                        It might be so for **your family** but this thread itself tends to suggest that white meat is preferred in the USA **as a whole**. What you or your family prefers may not be emblematic of the USA as a whole. See also that other CH thread I linked to in my OP and the article it references therein. Did you look at them?

                                                                                                        For convenience the links are;
                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/762118
                                                                                                        http://www.slate.com/articles/life/fo...

                                                                                                        1. re: huiray
                                                                                                          Bada Bing RE: huiray Jan 10, 2012 12:21 PM

                                                                                                          There is an even mix of chicken parts in American stores, but the prices tell a story. I routinely see packs of thighs on sale for 99 cents per pound, and chicken breast every so often gets below $2 per pound in family packs. But consumers regularly plop down $4-6 per pound for tidy little packets of trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and I think it's because of many squeamish non-cooking people who just don't want to deal with any prep work.

                                                                                                          In principle, boneless thigh packets might suit those people, but boneless thighs are not commonplace, and inevitably the pieces are somewhat ragged and irregular and (to such sensibilities) something close to "gross."

                                                                                                          Trust me. I know these people--folks who won't buy any meat containing bone or even much reminder of an animal nature. Go figure.

                                                                                                          1. re: huiray
                                                                                                            RUK RE: huiray Jan 10, 2012 12:40 PM

                                                                                                            I noted FIRST that: "Looking at the different cuts of Chicken at the supermarkets".....
                                                                                                            :-)
                                                                                                            whatever...

                                                                                                            1. re: RUK
                                                                                                              Bada Bing RE: RUK Jan 10, 2012 12:47 PM

                                                                                                              You thought I was contradicting you? I'm just noting that white meat sells at a significant premium.

                                                                                                              People used to get beef short ribs and flank steak for cheap, but popularity tells in price differences. Alas.

                                                                                                              1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                                huiray RE: Bada Bing Jan 11, 2012 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                Indeed.

                                                                                                                Here's the National Chicken Council webpage relating to USAmerican's preference for white meat, and the export of all that dark meat:
                                                                                                                http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org...

                                                                                                                1. re: Bada Bing
                                                                                                                  RUK RE: Bada Bing Jan 11, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                  Bada Bing - no, I did not think at all that you were contradicting me. After all, you also noted the "even mix of Chicken parts" in the stores.

                                                                                                                  1. re: RUK
                                                                                                                    John E. RE: RUK Jan 11, 2012 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                    I believe what is happemimg is that you seem to be contradicting reality. While my family prefers dark meat chicken, we are in the distict minority in the U.S., so much so that chicken producers have resorted to exporting dark meat chicken parts by the ton to markets that prefer it, such as Russia and Asia. Just because U.S. stores also sell dark meat chicken parts does not in any way change the reality that U.S. demand for white meat chicken parts surpasses by far the demand for dark meat chicken parts.

                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                      RUK RE: John E. Feb 2, 2012 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                      I would just like to interject into this sub-thread regarding preference of white versus dark meat - ( not addressing anyone in particular )
                                                                                                                      how many chicken wings are consumed during Super Bowl Sunday?

                                                                                                                      1. re: RUK
                                                                                                                        Veggo RE: RUK Feb 2, 2012 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                        1.25 billion wing portions.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                          macca RE: Veggo Feb 2, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                          WOw- I though you were kidding, but that is the truth! and that is more than 100 million pounds! Crazy!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                            RUK RE: Veggo Feb 2, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                            That's a lot of other than white breast meat! :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: RUK
                                                                                                                              Veggo RE: RUK Feb 2, 2012 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                              I think they will need to breed 4 - winged chickens, sort of feathered biplanes.

                                                                                                                              1. re: RUK
                                                                                                                                huiray RE: RUK Feb 2, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                “Other chicken dishes are seven times more popular than wings on Super Bowl Sunday,” added Harry Balzer, chief food and beverage industry analyst and vice president of The NPD Group. “Chicken is a very popular dish overall on that day… and it’s not just wings.”

                                                                                                                                http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org...

                                                                                                                                ;-)

                                                                                                                                1. re: RUK
                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: RUK Feb 2, 2012 10:56 PM

                                                                                                                                  Yes, wings are other than breast meat, but it is my understanding that wings are considered white chicken meat. The French cut chicken breast of course even leaves the wing attached to the breast.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                    o
                                                                                                                                    ospreycove RE: John E. Feb 3, 2012 06:53 AM

                                                                                                                                    AKA "Airline Breast". Don't know how this cut got the name.............

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                      RUK RE: ospreycove Feb 3, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                      Oh dear!
                                                                                                                                      I am starting to have nightmares of modified chickens - some with 2 additional juicy breasts, or bred with triple drumsticks, extra wings on demand for lofty tastes, double portions of dark meat and perhaps some extra feet for the enlightened crowd - decisions, decisions, what to buy and prepare....
                                                                                                                                      I think I will pick up that great looking Goose I spotted in my local Russian supermarket's freezer!

                                                                                                                                2. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                  magiesmom RE: Veggo Feb 4, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                  I heard on NPR that the wings consumed in the US on superbowl sunday would reach twice around the world.

                                                                                                                                3. re: RUK
                                                                                                                                  iL Divo RE: RUK Aug 24, 2013 03:41 PM

                                                                                                                                  gad chicken wings sound good right about now/but.............no football in sight :(

                                                                                                                          2. re: RUK
                                                                                                                            huiray RE: RUK Jan 10, 2012 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                            "Looking at the different cuts of Chicken at the supermarkets" - uhh, OK, what about it?

                                                                                                                            When I dine out, whether in higher-level or fine-dining places OR lower-level places (inlcuding MacDonalds and other Cafeteria-type places) the overwhelming choices of folks around me ordering chicken is for white meat chicken - i.e. chicken breasts. Even in my previous company's cafeteria, over the previous years, when "fried chicken" was offered, white meat pieces - chicken breasts - were picked up by my fellow diners (caucasian USAmericans) rather than the dark meat pieces, even though the white meat pieces were priced higher. No skin off MY nose, more dark meat for me, and cheaper too.

                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                                                                                              bagelman01 RE: huiray Jan 10, 2012 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                              for many years Americans have been bpresvched at to eat white meat chicken as it is lower in calories than dark meat...............
                                                                                                                              think DIET

                                                                                                                              1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                                                                huiray RE: bagelman01 Jan 10, 2012 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                                Yes, the Slate article I linked to discusses that and also its fallacy.

                                                                                                              2. re: huiray
                                                                                                                John E. RE: huiray Jan 10, 2012 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                We too prefer the dark meat of the chicken, turkey too for that matter. I find the chicken breast tk get 'spongy' or it can be dried out. Chicken thighs can also stand a braise such as coq au vin much better than breasts. I remember a while back the local grocery store's deli had a special on an 8-piece bucket of fried chicken. They said no substitutions even when I want thighs instead of breasts. I suppose that's because they fried the parts necessary for a complete bucket and did not wish to mess with the count.

                                                                                                              3. t
                                                                                                                thomas64 RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 9, 2012 09:19 PM

                                                                                                                Well, yes they are bigger. But so what? Cook the whole thing, eat until you have your fill and then save the rest for leftovers. What's so hard about that? Just because the portions are bigger doesn't mean you have to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: thomas64
                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                  TwirlyGirly RE: thomas64 Jan 10, 2012 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                  I specifically brought up two points in regards to breast size in my OP.

                                                                                                                  First, the majority (66%) of adults in this country (U.S.) are overweight or obese. Serving size for chicken is 4 oz. If you're dealing with a 12 oz. breast, how many people are realistically going to prepare ONE boneless breast and divide it among three people? Very few. Most are going to prepare one per person - because that is the portion size used in most recipes. Because they only ate one half breast for dinner, they're thinking they're eating properly - not taking into account that breast should have served three people.

                                                                                                                  Second, if you are preparing stuffed boneless breast halves, and the filling is the least bit "liquidy," (Kiev, Cordon Bleu, etc), cutting up the breast into portions causes the filling to leak out.

                                                                                                                2. m
                                                                                                                  mexivilla RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 10, 2012 05:10 AM

                                                                                                                  Incredibly timely. I just bought boneless, skinless chicken breasts at Costco. Normally they have been packaged as three half breasts in a plastic package with three sections, a total of nine pieces. But this package only had two half breasts in each section for a total of six pieces. When you're cooking for one that monster is just too much food. While I like chicken I don't really want to eat it all week.

                                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                                    Roland Parker RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 10, 2012 05:16 AM

                                                                                                                    Small isn't necessarily better.

                                                                                                                    We live in Dubai and almost all chicken available here are small, almost cornish hen size, chickens. A single chicken will be a single serving for a single person, and judging from what I see Gulf Arab men love chicken more than anything else and they queue outside the corner schwarama stalls and rotisseries on a very regular basis.

                                                                                                                    But most of the chicken in the gulf is raised in huge factory farms in Saudi Arabia. The chicken is pumped full of hormones and god knows what, so even though it's still small it's still full of junk and filler. I've had cut up chicken pieces in salads in Dubai restaurants that were....crunchy and plasticy.

                                                                                                                    Many people think it's one reason why so many younger Gulf Arab men have developed "man-breasts."

                                                                                                                    1. Eric_Cartman RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 10, 2012 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                      That is the reason why I never buy chicken breast from Costco. They have the biggest breasts in the world.

                                                                                                                      Okay...that definitely did not sound right.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Eric_Cartman
                                                                                                                        iL Divo RE: Eric_Cartman Jan 10, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                        I keep readin you're screen name as Eric Carmen..............
                                                                                                                        "all by myself.........................."

                                                                                                                        sorry couldn't help myself

                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                          Eric_Cartman RE: iL Divo Jan 10, 2012 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                          lmfao...thats the masturbatist's anthem.

                                                                                                                          I just listened to that song on youtube because of you and now its stuck in my head.. CURSES!!!!

                                                                                                                          Eric Cartman is a cartoon character haha.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Eric_Cartman
                                                                                                                            hotoynoodle RE: Eric_Cartman Jan 10, 2012 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                            cartman is "just big-boned." like these birds.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Eric_Cartman
                                                                                                                              iL Divo RE: Eric_Cartman Aug 24, 2013 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                              "Eric"......................................................................omy

                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                          smoledman RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 10, 2012 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                          I don't know how big the chicken is because I buy "Just Chicken" at Trader Joes and it's all sliced up.

                                                                                                                          1. LindaWhit RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 10, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                            My term has been "Frankenchicken breasts" for the past 6-8 years. Humongous. ONE of them can often be 3 meals for me, and if it's cut up and added to a pasta dish, even more.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                              o
                                                                                                                              ospreycove RE: LindaWhit Jan 10, 2012 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                              If you don't mind eating a factory raised chicken, you will be able to buy Big Breasted Birds, and Big Boneless Chix Breasts. But......if you do not desire to eat an animal that has his/her cousins living several "stories" above the cage, that your bird cannot turn around in, constantly raining down all their "output", on your bird; and if your big breasted bird does not mind breathing Ammonia laden air that in many cases poisons whole growing sheds when the exhaust fans fail, and if what your Big Breast gets to eat, poultry by-products, (meaning the dessicated trim and entrails of again their cousins). Then the Big Breasts are right for you: but remember, these animals get no room to exercise, cannot breath fresh air,do not eat naturally grown feeds, and are on a 24 hour daylight cycle, (good for rapid weight gain), so maybe it is time to consider how our food is produced because you are eating it.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: ospreycove Jan 10, 2012 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                                Yes, I'm fully *aware* of all that. As are a *lot* of people on CH. I try and NOT buy the supermarket chicken, but there are times when I don't have the time to make it to another market where chicken breasts are of a normal size.

                                                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                                                              drewpbalzac RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 10, 2012 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                              breast men are driving the market

                                                                                                                              1. r
                                                                                                                                rosepoint RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 10, 2012 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                We raise chickens (we have a hobby farm). Others have posted about the breeding used to make a large breasted chicken. Usually those birds are a Cornish X that are raised to go to market in about 6 - 8 weeks. I could grow a flock of Cornish X in that time on my farm, free range them, feed them (12 hrs on feed/12 hrs off) and I'd end up with a bird that looks and tastes just like the ones grown in factory farms.

                                                                                                                                Or I could buy a heritage/dual-purpose bird and grow it out until 5 months. Allow it to free range, free access to food 24/7 and I'd end up with a bird that has more dark meat/smaller breasts. We have grown/processed dual purpose birds and I'm telling you most folks would not want to pay the price to eat one of those birds. Why? Because to feed a bird for that long is expensive and the costs would be passed along to the consumer. Mass produced birds are bred/raised that way to produce meat at a price the consumer is willing to pay.

                                                                                                                                Not trying to advocate for either side just explaining why the 'franken-bird' is what you get at the supermarket today. I'm sure if the consumer demanded and was willing to pay for heritage birds you might start seeing smaller breasted birds sold in your supermarket. Or not.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: rosepoint
                                                                                                                                  pikawicca RE: rosepoint Apr 1, 2012 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                  I second this. A friend raises true free-range chickens, some Cornish crosses, others heritage breeds. The Cornish eat more, move less, and are huge. Pretty tasteless, too.

                                                                                                                                2. raytamsgv RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 11, 2012 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                  As others have noted, it's due to many generations of selective breeding. But you should remember it is not limited to chickens. Almost everything you eat, including fruits and vegetables, is continuously being redefined by this process. The ancestors of many modern day fruits were probably nowhere near as large as they are today.

                                                                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                                                                    CDouglas RE: TwirlyGirly Jan 11, 2012 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                                    So roosters will pay attention to them.

                                                                                                                                    A side benefit is that it allows me to easily butterfly them and stuff them with prosciutto, sage and parmigiano before I brown them and finish them in the oven.

                                                                                                                                    1. macca RE: TwirlyGirly Feb 2, 2012 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                                      We don't buy a lot of the boneless chicken breasts, but you are spot on- they are HUGE! When I do buy them, I freeze them a bit, then slice into smaller portions.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: macca
                                                                                                                                        o
                                                                                                                                        ospreycove RE: macca Feb 3, 2012 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                        If you want to avoid the Huge, tasteless , Chix Breasts, do not buy factory raised chickens.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                          magiesmom RE: ospreycove Feb 4, 2012 07:53 PM

                                                                                                                                          exactly. I don't get people complaining about products and then buying them. How we spend our money is important.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: magiesmom
                                                                                                                                            o
                                                                                                                                            ospreycove RE: magiesmom Feb 5, 2012 05:10 AM

                                                                                                                                            Yes, I really would like to know how, where, and under what conditions our foods are grown/raised; after all, you and I are eating it!!

                                                                                                                                      2. JB BANNISTER RE: TwirlyGirly Feb 3, 2012 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                                        They started getting big when 12 year olds started eating them.

                                                                                                                                        1. f
                                                                                                                                          FitMom4Life RE: TwirlyGirly Aug 21, 2013 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                          What a funny post. Why is a large size an issue? Just cut the breast in half! I freeze my chicken breasts, take out 2 or 3 at a time to cook, and then eat from that all week. Not sure why the size would be a problem for anyone. Weird.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: FitMom4Life
                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                            TwirlyGirly RE: FitMom4Life Aug 21, 2013 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                            Because of THIS:

                                                                                                                                            "I used to make a lot of stuffed boneless breasts for freezing (such as Chicken Kiev, Chicken Cordon Bleu, etc.) but I can't do that anymore because there is NO way either one of us can eat an entire 12 oz. breast. I've been unsuccessful in my attempts to cut the boneless breasts in half (into 2 thinner cutlets) before stuffing (wrong shape - I can't get the stuffing properly enclosed). Cutting them in half after cooking makes the fillling leak out - so one of us gets it all, while the other gets none."

                                                                                                                                            I use (or USED to use) the CI method, which calls for butterflying the boneless breast before stuffing. This results in a heart shaped piece of chicken. The stuffing is completely enclosed, with NO leakage.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: TwirlyGirly
                                                                                                                                              f
                                                                                                                                              FitMom4Life RE: TwirlyGirly Aug 21, 2013 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                              Again, I don't see the problem. Take a cleaver and cut the breast right in half, not making it thinner...just chop it from the top...in half. Stuff that. Problem solved. I've done this for YEARS.

                                                                                                                                              My second question would be....why not save (or freeze) your leftovers? My gosh, if I expected to eat every morsel of everything that I cooked, I would be 300 pounds. :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: TwirlyGirly
                                                                                                                                                juliejulez RE: TwirlyGirly Aug 21, 2013 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                I do find it interesting you're complaining about the size of the portion (ie saying a portion is only 4oz), but then you talk about how hard it is to make dishes like chicken kiev, which by far are not very healthy (at least in terms of calories, I know "healthy" is subjective).

                                                                                                                                                I just cut the large breasts in half lengthwise, spread the stuffing, then roll up and secure with toothpicks. Works pretty well for me.

                                                                                                                                                Also, I buy in bulk so I get breasts in ranges from 7oz all the way up to 12 in the same package. I save the smaller ones (on average more like 8 or 9oz, so perfect for cutting in half) for when I'm eating the breast whole, and try to use the larger ones in dishes where they require cut up pieces, like in pastas or for things like fajitas.

                                                                                                                                                Also, a note about serving sizes. Those are just recommended. You can still eat more than that, and still lose weight. I know I did. Also, the 4oz is the cooked portion. Chicken breasts often lose at least an ounce in cooking, so if you have a 6oz raw portion, it will cook down to 4.5-5oz.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: TwirlyGirly
                                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva RE: TwirlyGirly Aug 21, 2013 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                  It's the opposite in our house. We are quite the protein-fiends and when I buy a pack of chicken breasts I set the larger ones aside for stuffing purposes because it's just easier or I use them as butterflied cutlets. I find I have more flexibility with the larger breasts. Smaller breasts usually get cut into strips or diced.

                                                                                                                                              2. e
                                                                                                                                                evewitch RE: TwirlyGirly Aug 21, 2013 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                The generic (not Tyson) breasts at Walmart are starting to slim down again. Lately they have been in the 5-7 ounce range rather than 12 oz.
                                                                                                                                                We call the other ones "monster boobs."

                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: evewitch
                                                                                                                                                  Veggo RE: evewitch Aug 21, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Maybe the monster boobed chickens can be taught to do pole dances.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: Veggo Aug 21, 2013 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                    You do realize you're going to have very weird dreams tonight with putting that thought out there, Veggo.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                      Veggo RE: LindaWhit Aug 21, 2013 09:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                      They need to supplement their income! They live on chicken feed! There's gotta be a few well-heeled roosters out there!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: Veggo Aug 21, 2013 09:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                        http://www.cravebyrandomhouse.ca/wp-c...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                          Veggo RE: LindaWhit Aug 21, 2013 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Eeww! I would have tipped a couple bucks not to have seen that one....:)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: Veggo Aug 21, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                            But it's JULIA!!!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                              John E. RE: Veggo Aug 21, 2013 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                              How about this one?

                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                    2. re: evewitch
                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                      Kontxesi RE: evewitch Aug 21, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I brought home some Kroger brand frozen ones about two weeks ago, and they were about 5-7 oz a piece, if I remember correctly.

                                                                                                                                                      Maybe the tides are turning?

                                                                                                                                                    3. n
                                                                                                                                                      Nanzi RE: TwirlyGirly Aug 21, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I hate those huge breasts, they are harder too cook with the thighs I prefer, and mess up my cooking times, and the splatter shield won't fit over them in my iron skillet. So lately he has been getting the smaller, skinless breasts, but I know he likes the skin too.
                                                                                                                                                      It has gotten ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Nanzi
                                                                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                                                                        CDouglas RE: Nanzi Aug 21, 2013 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                        "I hate those huge breasts..."

                                                                                                                                                        Now there is a statement that I have never made in my entire 44 years on the planet.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CDouglas
                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                          sandylc RE: CDouglas Aug 21, 2013 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Guess: You are male.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc
                                                                                                                                                            o
                                                                                                                                                            ospreycove RE: sandylc Aug 22, 2013 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I really don't want "huge breasts", that live like this.........

                                                                                                                                                            New Yorker writer Michael Specter wrote separately in 2003 on his first visit to a broiler factory farm, “I was almost knocked to the ground by the overpowering smell of feces and ammonia. My eyes burned and so did my lungs, and I could neither see nor breathe….There must have been thirty thousand chickens sitting silently on the floor in front of me. They didn’t move, didn’t cluck. They were almost like statues of chickens, living in nearly total darkness, and they would spend every minute of their six-week lives that way.”
                                                                                                                                                            They grow so fast that broken legs are common, by 12 weeks their hearts give out because of their excessive weight. That is why they are slaughtered at 6-8 weeks to maximize the yield, of miserably raised dirty, pain ridden creatures, YUM!!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                                              earthygoat RE: ospreycove Aug 22, 2013 03:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                              We raise about 30 meat chickens yearly. They are outdoors eating grain, grass and bugs. That's a darned good life for a chicken, so you'd think they'd be clean and mobile. But, if you could only see what their breasts look like! Yuck! No feathers, just skin caked in manure and dirt. The food needs to be moved daily if we want them to move to new grass, otherwise they just stay at the food. Then they start to have breathing difficulties and leg problems. I feel sorry for them and don't feel guilty at all about putting them in my freezer since I am putting them out of their misery. I'm amazed what chicken breeding has created. I wish there was a breed somewhere in between the super fast growing broilers and the very slow growing dual purpose chickens.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: earthygoat
                                                                                                                                                                o
                                                                                                                                                                ospreycove RE: earthygoat Aug 23, 2013 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                earthy,
                                                                                                                                                                Do you raise "Freedom Rangers? Are they any better at foraging? I buy them from a friend who raises about 24 at a time, and processes these birds; I like the taste and texture, they seem to be interested in scratching for bugs, seeds etc.. Having said that, he does move his "chicken tractor every 2 days.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                                                  earthygoat RE: ospreycove Aug 23, 2013 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Freedom Ranger chickens sound like a great breed, but they are not available here in central Ontario. We have a huge variety of chickens roaming our property, even the old Cornish breed and we use "tractors", but lately they've been more stationary.

                                                                                                                                                                  When culling our roosters at about 12 weeks of age, we get the old fashioned chicken. It's yummy, but just not enough for the year. So, we always top up with the broilers. What a difference though. To anyone interested, here's a comparison picture of 3 week old chicks. The broiler is 3 times as large.

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: earthygoat
                                                                                                                                                                    o
                                                                                                                                                                    ospreycove RE: earthygoat Aug 24, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, your photo says it all, no wonder the Cornish Cross's hearts give out after 12 weeks!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ospreycove
                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                Sarah265 RE: ospreycove Nov 22, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                A great answer and made me tears on my eyes after reading that but sadly it is a cruel truth. Most people prefer to stay consciously blind and hypocritically close their eyes on the reality what those birds and other farm animals go through so they can stuff their bellies with animal flesh afterwards. There is nothing good in that meat anyways! U literally get meat full of hormones and additives those poor animals where forced to eat while alive. This is so gross.. wish ppl open their eyes finally and do not see and treat animals like a food target

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sarah265
                                                                                                                                                                  John E. RE: Sarah265 Nov 22, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  It is illegal to feed hormones to chickens. There can be a debate about the conditions in which the chickens are produced, but the production does not include hormones. That is an urban legend.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.
                                                                                                                                                                    hotoynoodle RE: John E. Nov 23, 2013 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    the illegality of feeding hormones to birds has already been mentioned in this thread, but i guess not everybody reads the thread on which they comment.

                                                                                                                                                        2. g
                                                                                                                                                          genoO RE: TwirlyGirly Aug 24, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                          be careful what you wish for. Soon you will be paying more per pound for smaller chicken breasts. The growers would gladly butcher them earlier for the right amount of return.

                                                                                                                                                          1. tehmeena RE: TwirlyGirly Nov 22, 2013 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                            if they are huge dear cut them into half .. simple

                                                                                                                                                            1. j
                                                                                                                                                              jbsiegel RE: TwirlyGirly Nov 23, 2013 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I bought a pack of thighs the other day. Ridiculously big as well. I think each one weighed about .5 pounds (with bone in).

                                                                                                                                                              Makes me think drumsticks and wings are the only normal-sized pieces?

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                Veggo RE: jbsiegel Nov 23, 2013 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I want bigger wings! I don't want F-14 fighter jet wings, I want Gossamer Albatross wings...with a thick leading edge!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                                                                                                                  hotoynoodle RE: jbsiegel Nov 23, 2013 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  remove the bone and what does that leave? 3-5 oz raw? not terribly huge considering the bewbies that chicken was trying to hoist about.

                                                                                                                                                                2. j
                                                                                                                                                                  jboney RE: TwirlyGirly Apr 10, 2014 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  1 lb 10.5 oz
                                                                                                                                                                  1 lb 7.9 oz
                                                                                                                                                                  The two big ones!

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                                                                                                    jboney RE: TwirlyGirly Apr 10, 2014 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I forgot to tell you they are BONELESS!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                                                                                                      sandra81 RE: TwirlyGirly Jun 18, 2014 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      that is so funny but I feel the same way. I cooked to big breast today, and 3 people ate on on breast and there is till meat on it. Those chicken must look like turkey's

                                                                                                                                                                      1. juster RE: TwirlyGirly Jun 19, 2014 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        There are only two of us, but we do split chicken breasts (and most often have some left over, and prefer thighs anyway), pork chops, steak, even fish fillets. They sell meat in large portions, that's true. I think that the sellers are assuming (fairly correctly for the majority of consumers) that bigger is better, so they've produced chickens that provide that, just like at most restaurants. My boyfriend is a healthy, middle-aged guy, but he doesn't eat a huge amount. We're not afraid to admit that we're not huge eaters, so we often share a meal between us at home and at restaurants (when we agree on something, which can be tough). Otherwise, it's doggie bags.

                                                                                                                                                                        As far as waste, there are a lot of ways to repurpose all of these cooked meats.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. g
                                                                                                                                                                          gfr1111 RE: TwirlyGirly Jun 19, 2014 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          At my grocery store (a Publix in Tampa), the chicken breasts come in a variety of sizes. You can get everything from 4-6 ounce breasts on up. So I am not experiencing the problem which you are.

                                                                                                                                                                          My chicken breast problem is that I like them bone-in, skin-on. They are more flavorful and remain moist. The problem is that apparently the general public has fallen in love with skinless, boneless, tasteless chicken breasts, and it is getting harder and harder to find the regular chicken breasts.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. n
                                                                                                                                                                            Nanzi RE: TwirlyGirly Jun 19, 2014 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't tried this, but after pounding it out flat, the piece might be big enough to make 2 stuffed items?? I hate them so big too. I just bought the individually wrapped sliced breasts to do Chicken Francaise with, and the size and slices were perfect. 1 breast fed us both!! Worth the extra price for this.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. p
                                                                                                                                                                              PAO RE: TwirlyGirly Jun 19, 2014 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Thank God, I'm not the only one who thinks this!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. junescook RE: TwirlyGirly Jun 19, 2014 02:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                One thing I do like those large chicken breasts for, especially in the warm weather, is smoking. Last weekend, while I was smoking some country ribs on the lower shelf, I also had five of those big bns breasts, coated with the same rub, on the upper shelf. I had the thermometer in one of the largest breasts and kept them in until it hit about 165, about 3 1/2 hours. We slice these thinly and have them atop big salads, in sandwiches and in casseroles. We're WW members and while we are very frugal about carb consumption, but since most veggies are free, and lean meat is only one pt/oz, we get to have more than enough. As long as you're careful with temperature control with those they won't get too dry.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. junescook RE: TwirlyGirly Jun 19, 2014 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd like to make another comment. Large scale chicken farmers make big investments to secure contracts with the big poultry companies like Tyson, Blue Bell and Perdue. The companies drop off thousands of hatchlings at a time and them come back at a certain time and pay a predetermined fee for the number that survived. It would be about six weeks for a 6# bird (fryer), maybe 10-12 for a roaster, etc. In the warmer weather there is probably less call for big roasters of the oven-stuffer size and so you see them more often parted out. Yesterday I bought a package of leg quarters @ .88. Today they had big split chickens @ .99 but smaller @ 1.49. Chicken farming is a hard business and I know that some farmers who have gone through the procedures (and costs) necessary to produce organic birds hoping to get contracts with Whole Foods and Walmart have been disappointed in their efforts.

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