Demand for Dark Meat Rises, Prices Increase

Chicken breasts are out, and thighs and dark meat are in

Cooking with chicken breasts? You may be part of a dwindling group: consumers have finally discovered the appeal of dark meat, sending chicken thigh prices way up.

The Associated Press talked to Pat LaFrieda Jr. of the Food Network series Meat Men and confirmed that customers are buying more dark meat and changing the poultry market. LaFrieda noted that dark meat is one of the cheapest sources of protein with the most flavor; however, it won't be cheap for long. The USDA shows that chicken thigh prices are as much, if not more, than the cost of chicken breasts.

Possible reasons for the demand for dark meat? TV shows are increasingly using dark meat in recipes, plus it's easier to find in stores, thanks to new machinery that can easily debone chicken thighs. The pros of dark meat? Not only is it packed with flavor, but it doesn't dry out as easily as chicken breasts. It's best in dishes like Bolognese sauce, raviolis, and burgers, said LaFrieda.