4 Reasons Why Are Chicken Leg Quarters So Cheap

why are chicken leg quarters so cheap
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Why Are Chicken Leg Quarters So Cheap

Chicken is an incredibly versatile meat that is a staple protein for many families around the world. Whether you make curry, stew, roast dinner, or deep-fried chicken, chicken seems to go with every spice, herb, and vegetable imaginable.

Estimates say that around fifty billion chickens are consumed each year across the world. That’s a lot of chicken! When compared to the price of beef, lamb, and even pork, chicken is probably the cheapest form of animal protein in many countries.

Chicken is a widely popular choice of meat because of its versatility, nutritional value, dietary value, and price. Chicken leg quarters in particular seem to be cheap in many places. We’re going to explore the reasons for that in this article.

Why Chicken Leg Quarters Are Cheap

In the United States of America, chicken meat is sold packaged in 8 different forms – chicken leg quarters, whole chicken, chicken drumsticks, bone-in chicken thighs, boneless chicken thighs, split chicken breast, boneless chicken breast, and chicken wings.

The cheapest of these cuts per pound is a chicken leg quarter. Chicken leg quarters are cheap but they are also extremely flavorful since both the drumstick and chicken thigh consist of dark meat, whereas the breast consists of more mildly flavored white meat.

Hot fried chicken legs
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Adding to the flavor, a chicken leg quarter has more fat on it than a chicken breast. A chicken leg quarter costs around 0.89 US dollars per pound, whereas the most expensive cut, which is the boneless chicken breast, costs around 3.33 US dollars per pound.

There are a few reasons that chicken leg quarters are the cheapest cut. We detail them below.

  1. Time

Time equals money even when you’re dealing with a domesticated bird. It takes an experienced butcher about 30 seconds to separate the chicken into four parts, two of which are chicken leg quarters.

Sand running through the bulbs of an hourglass
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However, a boneless chicken breast, which is the most expensive cut, takes double or triple that amount of time to prepare. This is because not only does the butcher have to separate the meat from the chicken carcass, but he also has to debone it.

When you’re a big company, the amount of time it takes to package a single cut of chicken meat when multiplied by ten thousand can stack up to a substantial amount.

  1. Less meat

With a chicken leg quarter, you’re getting less meat per pound because the chicken leg comes from a chicken’s back part which is more bones than meat. When weighed, chicken bones weigh much more than chicken meat.

Raw chicken legs on a dark concrete table
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As a result, when comparing in pounds per dollar, a pound of boneless chicken breast is expensive because it has more meat than a pound of chicken leg quarter.

You can extract the most bang for your buck though by using the trimmings and bones to make delicious stocks and broths. Freeze them for later use.

  1. Marketing

Marketing plays an important role in making chicken leg quarters the cheapest cut. People in big companies know that an individual will always think that 10 pounds of chicken drumsticks are worth more than 10 pounds of chicken leg quarters. It’s a visual and mental calculation.

Young boy eating chicken leg
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This is why the most economical way of eating chicken is buying the whole bird and jointing it yourself.

  1. Ways to cook a chicken leg quarter

The simplest way to cook chicken leg quarters is to season them with salt and pepper then lay them in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Oven-roast them in a preheated oven for about 45-60 minutes.

The skin will crisp up, the fat will melt, and you’ll be rewarded with crispy-skinned golden deliciousness. Alternatively, if you want to make a more elaborate dish, the pieces can be used in a curry sauce or stew and cooked slowly until the meat is coming off the bone.

Grilled chicken
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These cuts are great for making chicken soup too. The skin and bones are removed at the end of cooking by which time they’ll have yielded up their rich savory flavor. The meaty bits are then shredded up and added back into the soup.

If you’re having a picnic, these cuts are useful because the bone means that they are easy to eat with the hands. Simply roast them after sprinkling them with herbs or spices of your choice then cool and chill them before taking them along to your picnic.

Grilled chicken legs with tomatoes and parsley
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They make great lunchbox snacks too. Also, try them on the barbeque after marinading them for a winning weekend meal.

To conclude

Despite their low price, chicken leg quarters are certainly not second-rate cuts. They are rich, tasty, and nutritious whichever way they’re cooked. We should all take greater advantage of these versatile parts of the chicken.

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