Thursday, November 13, 2008

Saving Money on Chicken Breasts

Warning to vegetarians, the squeamish, and my daughter: Graphic raw chicken pictures ahead.

One way I save money on chicken is to buy bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts when they go on sale for 99¢ per pound, then fillet them myself.

Filleting a chicken breast is easy. (Taking some of these pictures with my left hand was a lot harder.)

First, cut or pull the skin away from the meat and discard it.

Then insert the knife along one edge of the breast meat.

Cut deeply along the breast bone...

until you are able to separate the meat from the bone.

As you can see, could have taken care to get even more meat off the bone.

I'm not particularly careful, though, because I'll wrap and freeze the meaty breast bones. I'll simmer them at a later time to make enough broth and meat for chicken and noodles, chicken pot pie or any other recipe calling for broth and cooked chicken.

Some people may wonder if filleting chicken breasts at home is worth the time involved. Maybe you, like my daughter Jeanne, are grossed out at the idea of cutting up chicken. Maybe you really don't mind paying for the convenience of pre-cut chicken. I'm not judging; I'm just sharing a "how to" here. Only you can decide if it's worth it for you.

Because my curiosity got the best of me, I timed myself filleting five chicken breast halves (about four pounds total) the day I took these photos. They consistently took less than 30 seconds for each one. Just for an easy reference, I compared them to the boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets at Sam's Club, which were priced at $2.29 a pound. So, in less than three minutes, I saved about $5.20 compared to the same amount of chicken fillets from Sam's Club. (And that's not counting the meat left on the bones for another meal or two.)

When I consider that the $5.20 I saved would buy us another five pounds of chicken, I'd have to say that yes, for me it's worth it.

Your mileage may vary.

1 comment:

Lisa B. said...

I keep trying to cut up whole chickens, I'm getting used to it little by little each time, but it still grosses me out some too. What's wrong with my generation? We are too spoiled!