The Reason Chicken Leg Quarters Are Generally Cheaper Than Other Cuts

Whether you are planning for a solo home-cooked dinner, a family barbecue, or a Super Bowl extravaganza, grocery store prices may affect what you decide to prepare. And depending on the month or year, certain foods may provide some relief for your pocketbook or blitz it with rising prices. For example, according to USA Today, a report from Wells Fargo estimated that purchasing a pound of wings to eat while the Chiefs and Eagles battle it out on the field for Super Bowl LVII would cost around $2.65, down from the $3.38-a-pound sports fans paid for wings to eat while watching the Rams secure a victory in the previous year's game.

As far as chicken cuts go, wings are on the pricier end of the scale. Using an Agricultural Marketing Service – USDA report for early February as evidence, it's safe to say chicken wings will likely cost you more per pound at the supermarket than leg quarters, which are at the less-expensive end of the pricing spectrum. If you& ranked different cuts of chicken, chicken leg quarters might land an enviable spot on the list for embodying desirous characteristics like flavor and versatility. So, what makes these high-ranking chicken parts so affordable?

The price differences have to do with the processing

If a too-low sticker price makes you think twice about making a food purchase, hopefully, a little background info might help ease some of those concerns. According to The Spruce Eats, in the case of chicken leg quarters, which consist of the thigh, drumstick, and some of the back of the bird, the price is lower than other parts of chicken because it hasn't been cut into separate pieces or had the bones or skin removed. Or, as the publication puts it, "the less butchering required, the cheaper the chicken."

The price difference between chicken leg quarters and, say, boneless, skinless breasts, mimics the way that whole chickens can be more cost-effective than buying chicken pieces (via Serious Eats). The massive demand for white meat might be another factor to consider. According to Agweek, Americans prize chicken breasts so highly that dark meat gets exported to other countries. Per The Gainsville Sun, white meat brought home the bacon for producers for decades while dark meat brought financial losses.

The comforting part of the equation is that buying chicken leg quarters may cost you less than other cuts, but it doesn't necessarily mean you are sacrificing quality. As The Spruce Eats tells it, the dark meat in chicken leg quarters is nicely suited for roasting and once prepared, the resulting dish can be "moist and flavorful." Saving money and eating – that sounds like a winner, winner chicken dinner to us!