Geek Cuisine — Cutting Chicken

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On the way home from vacation, the Mrs. notified me that we would not be eating in tonight, in particular after wrapping up a 10 hour drive.  I’ve been craving some non-KFC fried chicken and well I wanted to go to Golden Corral.  I lobbied my cause, she didn’t fight it, so it was time to visit the “Hungry Heifer”.

“Hungry Heifer” is a nickname we gave Golden Corral several years ago, when it was a frequent lunch haunt for a company I used to work for!

Most restaurants cut their chicken into 8 primary pieces:  Two legs, two thighs, two breasts and two wings.  However there is a method of cutting chicken to get a 9th piece where the breast is cut into three pieces:  two ribs and a center breast or keel.

We had visited the Heifer in Cary a couple of months ago and they were doing the traditional 8-piece cut.  Today, visiting the Durham location on Highway 55, near I-40 I was surprised to find keel’s in the pan.

Years ago, Kentucky Fried Chicken used to do the 9-piece cut, but sometime in the mid-80’s they stopped and went to an 8-piece cut.   I had always assumed it was because many people who were ordering all-white meat, or ordering breast meat was selecting the keels and they were left with rib’s that were harder to sale.  I don’t know for sure.

So I asked myself today “Was Golden Corral’s choice to cut keels a way to squeeze an extra piece out of each chicken?”  Is this a case of offering more by offering less?  Is it for cost savings?  I’ll take a keel any day, so for me this was a glad change?  Is this a corporate wide decision? Local management?  The chef’s choice?

Do you know of other restaurants that are offering center/keel cuts?

Your comment on this blog post will be appreciated.

2 Responses to “Geek Cuisine — Cutting Chicken”

  1. Don Hammack

    We got keels from the mess on the submarine I served on in the Navy. And, no, this isn’t some sort of joke … navy … ships … keels. I miss the keels.

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