Culinary no-no #619

Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.

The last time I patronized a Hooters restaurant was, my goodness, more than 20 years ago. I recall vividly what I chose for lunch.

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No, no, no.

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It was the smothered chicken sandwich. The Hooters menu describes it as “Topped with sautéed onions, green peppers and mushrooms. This plump, juicy, grilled chicken breast is then smothered in melted provolone cheese and served on a toasted brioche bun. Just remember to come up for air. ”

I was more than pleasantly surprised. The sandwich was fantastic.

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The chicken breast is the stuff chicken sandwiches are made of. And rightfully so. Isn’t the breast the best part of the chicken?

Garrick Saito from Los Angeles calls himself an amateur cook He wrote on social media:

If your definition of best means healthiest, the breast is the part of the bird with the least amount of calories (per ounce) and fat. Most consider this part desirable, when health or weight-watching is considered.

If your definition of best means cheapest, then the answer is no. The breast is the most expensive cut.

If your definition of best means meatiest, then yes, it is the meatiest part of the bird.

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We don’t live anywhere near a Costco. The place that sells popular rotisserie chickens for $4.99 has announced plans to keep that price right where it is by opening a $275 million poultry-processing center in Fremont, Nebraska, in September 2019.

Costco employee chicken

Our nearby Sendik’s makes a pretty nice rotisserie bird. Jennifer likes the breast and is not real crazy about the dark meat (Remember, she puts ketchup on brats). I like white and dark so I always end up with the legs and thighs.

The breast is best? That was the conventional wisdom for a long, long time. Times have changed.

Bloomberg is reporting:

  • In the past ten years sales of chicken thighs have increased nine-fold.
  • Restaurants are purchasing more dark meat.
  • Consumers want more ethnic foods that have dark meat.
  • The poultry industry’s production of chickens with large breasts altered the flavor.
  • Robots can process dark meat better than humans.
  • Demand for thighs has risen to the point that they cost more than breasts.
  • Dark meat, because it’s juicier, is now considered a better dining experience.

Back to Garrick Saito on whether the breast is best.

If your definition of best means tastiest, I think a lot of people would say it is the least flavorful.

If your definition of best means easiest to cook, then the answer is no. It is the most difficult to cook, as it dries out very quickly and often gets ruined in the hands of inexperienced cooks.

Maybe that’s why my sandwich at Hooters had to be smothered.


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2 thoughts on “Culinary no-no #619

  1. Pingback: Culinary no-no FLASHBACK: Brats and Beer | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

  2. Pingback: Culinary no-no #620 | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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