What the heck happed to Chicken?
It's 2012 and truthfully, I hate it when I go to buy Chicken now. You might be asking yourself why? Well, I'll tell ya.
I like Chicken Breast above all else in the fowl category.
And remember, these are my preferences, breast, for me is a 10 out of 10, thighs are about 6 out of 10, legs and wings are about a 4 out of 10.
But is not a debate about which is better.
It's a complaint about how, stores in general, SELL chicken. The "industry" so to speak.
It's almost impossible to find nice fresh Chicken Breasts with skin on them!
I can find wings with skin ... and what's the ratio of skin vs. meat on a wing, or a leg or a thigh?
The one cut of meat that I really like, that has the absolute lowest ratio of skin to meat, is the breast and there's not a breast w/skin for miles.
Why do I like the skin? The crispity, crunchity FLAVOR of course.
Chickens in 2012 need all the help they can get! They don't taste anything like I remember Chicken from the 50's, 60's, 70's and part of the 80's.
Why? Because chickens are mass produced, they mature in 3 minutes and grow to full weight in about 2.5 hours ... its no wonder there's no taste. Yeah, I know I exaggerated a little, but they do mature and get fatter in a much shorter time than they used to with all of the genetic enhancements and hormone additives.
Are people so fracking lazy that they can't pull the skin off of the breast that they have forced the industry to do it for us?
But then what about people like me that like the skin? Most stores package the Chicken and put it on the shelf and I have to tell you it's really frustrating to walk past package after package of wings, legs, and thighs with skin and 30+ packages of breast meat w/out the skin.
That's too bad... in our stores, we can find breasts in many forms, bone-in/skin-on, boneless/skinless, tenders, frozen in varieties as well.
Maybe it's the area you live in, the demand?
Ditto here. The two megamarts and the Trader Joe's within walking distance have breasts with or without skin.
Mebbe you need to find a butcher close to you...?
Your only hope is to find free-range chickens somewhere. Cut off the breasts and cook them for yourself. Serve the other parts to the kids. Or the neighbors. Or use them for soup.
I used to buy breasts with the bone in a lot because DH liked them, but I actually prefer dark meat, so currently, I buy two whole chickens each week. However, once in a while, I'd like to throw couple of breasts on the grill, so I can relate.
My biggest complaint used to be that supermarkets sold breasts that were cut square with a saw, and didn't actually separate a whole breasts properly. Properly cut breasts are triangular in shape and follow the natural shape of the breast.. Now, I am greatful to find them. Even Costco discontinued them at my local store for a while last year, choosing to sell only skinless, boneless breasts, which don't nearly have the flavor that chicken on the bone does.
I suspect it's a supply and demand thing - chicken breasts are by far the most popular part of the chicken, and the boneless-skinless variety is the most popular type of chicken breast.
If I buy chicken breasts at the supermarket, I can get boneless skinless breasts cut in various sizes, skin on chicken legs, whole or chopped, skin on chopped half chickens, and skin on wings, plus gizzards and hearts. At the traditional market, the default is double breast, skin on, with or without the bone, whole wings, whole hind-quarters, half chicken (cut lengthwise) and whole chicken, plus various heads, feet and internal organs. They'll chop or trim it however I want, though - skin it, joint it, hack it into pieces with a cleaver, etc. The market chicken is way better than the supermarket stuff in taste, too. [As an aside, at the pork stalls, you can choose your pork and fat and have them grind it for you, which is nice.]