American’s are eating more chicken than ever. This was made clear in late 2014, when Priceonomics announced that the popular protein had risen to become the most consumed meat in the United States. For the first time in over one hundred years, citizens of the United States are purchasing more chicken then beef. But why? What factors have caused this shift in consumer behavior?
There are actually a few distinct explanations, and the first regards affordability. To say that the price of beef has risen over the years would be a serious understatement. According to the Huffington Post, in 2002, the average beef price was $3.32 per pound. Fast forward to 2013, where the average price per pound was logged at $5.36. While beef and other proteins have steadily risen in price throughout the years, chicken has remained a low cost offering that most American’s can afford.
Another big reason for the increased popularity of chicken is the trend towards healthier eating. It’s been proclaimed widely that ‘white-meat’ is considered to be a healthier choice of protein. Chicken (minus its skin) is wildly advertised and encouraged throughout a large number of diet and health eating plans, while red meat, like beef and pork have been vilified as purveyors of heart disease and diabetes.
Beyond the price and health concerns however, is yet another and perhaps simpler explanation for America’s newest preference. Chicken is versatile and delicious. You can enjoy it in just about any entrée, cooked in any style. Fried, baked, or boiled, chicken is a tasty component to so many dishes. So let’s recap. Chicken is affordable, lean and tastes great. It’s no wonder why American’s have grown fond of this dynamic protein.
To celebrate, declare next week as a five-day-all-things-chicken feast with these simple and flavorful chicken recipes:
Day One: Chicken Skewers with Soy-Mirin marinade
A skewer is the perfect way to make any protein and/or vegetable the star of a meal. In this savory treat, boneless chicken breast pieces are marinated for only fifteen minutes in a powerful blend of sesame oil, mirin and soy sauce. The tender grilled chicken skewers are accented by colorful and complimentary bell peppers, and then served alongside hot rice.
Day Two: Cajun Chicken Pasta
Everyone will love the smooth texture and lightly spiced flavor of this chicken pasta favorite! Chicken breasts are sliced into thin strips and tossed with tasty sundried tomatoes, sliced green onions and of course, a few teaspoons of Cajun seasoning.
Day Three: Chicken Stew
Who doesn’t love a stew? A full-bodied and thoroughly tasty broth is created by simmering tomatoes, celery, carrots and onion, then is topped with chunks of tasty chicken breast and hearty kidney beans. This comforting meal is a winner for lunch or dinner. Don’t forget a solid piece of fresh bread for dunking!
Day Four: Chicken Salad with Grapes, Cashews, Apples and Fresh Dill
You’ve never tried a chicken salad like this. A seemingly random roster of ingredients, like grapes, cashews and dill are brought together with a bit of mayonnaise and red and green onions. This seemingly strange assortment pairs together wonderfully, and the chunks of tender chicken breast help make this salad one that is filling enough for a complete meal.
Day Five: Creamy Bruschetta Chicken
If you’ve ever wondered whether you could make your own risotto-style recipe at home, look no further than this tasty concoction. The use of a pre-packaged rice product makes this tasty entrée so easy to prepare and basically foolproof. Nestled among the savory chicken flavored rice, you’ll find hot chicken breasts, chopped tomatoes and basil along with melted mozzarella cheese. Yum!
Chicken has won over America. Give it a try in your home and see if your family and friends agree.