Whole Chickens Vs Cut Chicken Breasts: What’s The Difference?

whole chicken vs chicken breast

The first question that comes to mind when deciding what to make for dinner is if it’s better to buy a whole chicken or just a cut of chicken breast? We bet any housewife has encountered this situation, but don’t worry, you can find the answer after reading this article.

Now, let’s check it out!

What is whole chicken?

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Whole chicken is the type of poultry that you can purchase at your local butcher, grocery store, or supermarket.

As the name implies, it cuts like an entire chicken that has been slaughtered and has feathers removed.

Whole chicken comes in various sizes, depending on the bird’s size when it was slaughtered.

Whole chicken consists of all its body with wings and legs attached, skin-on, and bone-in.

In other words, it is a chicken that is uncut and hasn’t been filleted.

Whole chicken is perfect for grilling outside or cooking in the oven with oil or butter.

It will take more time to cook and usually under low heat so that the chicken can be thoroughly cooked without getting burned on the skin.

What is chicken breast?

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Chicken breast is one of the most common cuts of chicken.

It is a great source of lean protein for your diet and it can be cooked in numerous ways.

Chicken breasts are made up of mainly white meat and they are more tender than other cuts like wings or thighs.

You can get them either boneless and skinless, bone-in and skinless, or bone-in and skin-on.

No matter what type it comes in, the bones in the chicken breast should be removed before cooking.

Keeping the skin will allow you to achieve crispy and golden skin when baking, grilling, or frying, but removing it will help you cut down some fat.

Boneless skinless chicken breast can also be sliced into thin pieces, breaded, then deep-fried to make crispy chicken nuggets.

It can be ground to act as a much healthier alternative for conventional beef or pork ground.

What are the differences between whole chicken vs chicken breast

Whole chicken or chicken breast, despite being chicken, differ in many ways.

The comparison table below will get into detail about how whole chicken and chicken breast distinguish from each other: 

 Whole chickenChicken breast
CutThe entire chickenA cut from the upper chest of the bird
TypeUncut, bone-in, and skin-onBone-in/boneless, skin-on/skinless, usually cut into two equal halves
TextureUsually tougher and fattier because whole chicken consists of some dark meat parts like thighs or wingsTender and leaner (the leanest part of chicken)
FlavorMore flavorfulMilder
UseUsually grilled, baked, or roasted with or without stuffingCan be cooked in numerous ways: baking, grilling, roasting, deep-frying, ground, or shredded for salads or burgers
Nutritional contentHave more fat and cholesterol from the dark meat partMore lean protein and less fat
Cooking timeLongerShorter
PriceCheaper per poundPricier per pound

What are the similarities between whole chicken vs chicken breast?

Despite many differences between whole chicken and chicken breast, these two kinds of protein also have a lot of things in common, here are some:

1. Whole chicken and chicken breast have the same taste as poultry

We have to admit that when eating whole chicken or just a chicken breast, they both have the similar taste of poultry, which is different from pork or beef.

However, the dark meat parts like chicken legs or chicken wings will be a bit more flavorful than chicken breast because they contain more fat.

2. Whole chicken and chicken breast are great sources of many essential nutrients

Another similarity between whole chicken and chicken breast is their nutritional content.

Both are great sources of protein, phosphorus, B-vitamins, niacin, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.

Organic chicken even offers a high amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids which benefit our health in many ways.

3. There are plenty of methods to cook a whole chicken and chicken breast

When it comes to cooking a whole chicken or chicken breast, you have numerous cooking methods to choose from.

Although it is best to grill whole chicken over an open flame or bake it in the oven, you can cut it into different parts, including breast, wings, or thighs, and now you can have different chicken dishes from these cuts.

It is also true for chicken breast, which can be grilled, pan-fried, breaded and deep-fried, or baked.

Which one is better?

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Product ImageJust Bare® Natural Fresh Whole Chicken | Antibiotic Free | Bone-In |...Just Bare All Natural Fresh Chicken Breast Fillets | No Antibiotics...
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The choice between these two cuts of meat depends on how you want your dish prepared and the amount of time you have available.

Whole chickens take much longer to cook than breasts because they are larger, but they also provide more versatility in terms of cooking methods and flavors.

They are cheaper per pound as well, which makes them an economical choice for feeding large families or groups.

On the other hand, if you don’t like bones or prefer not to have to deal with them, chicken breasts are the way to go.

They will also cook faster and if you combine a breast cut with some boneless thighs, you’ll still get great flavor without having to leave your kitchen for very long.

Good luck with your choice!