This post is a follow up to my “Frugal or not – Whole Chicken Experiment” so if you haven’t read the original post you’ll want to do that first. Basically I cooked a whole chicken in a crockpot and was shocked to find such little meat at the end of my 6 hour investment. I began to question whether the long time assumption that cooking a whole chicken was in fact cheaper than simply buying chicken breast. So that led to this part of the experiment.
I took an empty plate and zeroed out the scale before I placed the 5lbs worth of raw (gross!) chicken breast on the plate. I cut down the last breast until I could get the scale exactly to zero.
My question was whether or not the boneless/skinless chicken breast would cook down at the same rate as a whole chicken and in the end which would be cheaper. I’ve learned there are many other factors, such as…
- The price of the whole chicken
- Where you purchased the whole chicken (infused with water?)
- How much stock you get or don’t get
- Personal preference (dark meat/light meat)
- Time factor
In the end of course I learned that it’s likely the best option is to buy chicken thighs which often go on sale for $0.99/lb. They leave you with quite a bit of meat for a lot less than the $1.99/lb chicken breast. Really it all boils down (haha, funny pun not intended) to your own personal preference. My house sure smelled delicious with that whole chicken cooking away, the stock I was able to get made for a giant pot of delicious chicken noodle soup. Enough to have the neighbors over for dinner and lunch 2 days in a row. Still though, personally I won’t be cooking a whole chicken as my regular method of getting at the meat. I’ll just buy the meat and stock up on cheap organic broth from Whole Foods. You can also get all natural boneless/skinless chicken breast on sale at Raley’s for $1.99/lb this week.
Here is the final cost breakdown/comparison:
- 5lb Whole Chicken at $0.99/lb yielded 1.78lbs worth of meat = $2.78 per pound
- 5lb Chicken Breast (no rib meat or water added) $1.99/lb yielded 3.82lbs worth of meat = $2.60 per pound
So while it was a little cheaper to buy and cook the chicken breast, they are so many other factors. Still a very interesting experiment and we have lots of cooked chicken in the freezer which is really nice!