You know where all that dark meat goes? Well among other export markets, almost a billion pounds of it is going to Russia:
You don’t have to take my word for it, though. Just take a trip to your farmer’s market or local butcher who specializes in better quality meat. Look for a chicken raised on pasture, not just cage-free. The farmer or butcher should be able to tell you everything you need to know about breed, living conditions, and feed. If they can’t, keep walking. The trick to cooking a well-raised bird is to season it as little as possible. I like mine with plenty of salt and pepper on the outside, and half an onion in the cavity – that’s it. Truss it tightly and start it off in a hot oven for a good sear. Turn the heat down and cook for about 20 minutes a pound.
More to the point – or actually this is the point – Americans would do well to start purchasing the whole chicken whenever possible. A whole chicken is always going to be cheaper per pound than pieces, especially boneless skinless breast. For the price of a couple pounds of boneless breast you can usually pick up an entire bird. A quick trip to youtube would get you quartering the chicken in no time, or you could roast it whole and use the meat for a ton of different dishes. Either way, a whole chicken yields a carcass which can be made into delicious chicken stock – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.