Chicken breasts have been a staple in my kitchen since college. We went through so many that I would buy the big frozen bag from BJ’s on a monthly basis. Gradually, I shifted to buying them at the grocery store and trimming my own. But, recently I’ve converted from buying chicken breasts to thighs.
Think about Thanksgiving. Everyone says they are going to eat healthy and go for white meat, but when you look at their plate, you can see dark meat buried at the bottom. Why? More flavor. Why? More fat, and fat equals flavor. Meat from most animal legs is tough and typically reserved for slow-cooking or braising. Chicken thighs break the rule. They are only slightly tougher than chicken breasts, which can be resolved in most recipes by cooking a little longer, and that fat content is only negligibly higher than breast meat (2.6g per serving for boneless, skinless breasts vs. 3.9g for boneless, skinless thighs), according to the National Chicken Council. And, when you stack them against one another nutritionally, they are not that different. Boneless, skinless breasts have 114 calories, 21.2g protein, and 116mg sodium per serving. Thighs have 119 calories, 19.7g protein, and 86mg sodium.
For me, thighs are more versatile, have more flavor and do not dry out as quickly on the stove, in the oven or on the grill. And, they work quite well in soup (foreshadowing…). Continue reading Tuesday dinner: Chicken and wild rice soup