A little over two years ago I learned about bone-in split chicken breasts from reading a blog post by Erin Chase. Before reading her explanation I had seen this cut of chicken on sale, but I really did not have any recipes or ideas of how to use it. Since I had no clue, I bypassed the great sale.
Today I hope to let you in on a secret that saves our family lots of money on chicken. For the most part, I cook and bake only boneless chicken breasts and tenderloins. But on sale chicken breasts can still be over $2.00 per pound – OUCH!
Without a sale, bone-in split chicken breasts run about $2.50 per pound, but you are still paying for the bone. But with a sale – a great sale, I find bone-in split chicken breast (a/k/a split chicken breast with ribs) on sale for $.99 per pound. At this great price, I stock up!
In fact, three weeks ago I purchased 7 lbs. of split chicken breast with ribs, which was two packages, at Bi-Lo at $.99 per pound for a total of $6.95. I then brought the chicken home and cut it. The result was 6 boneless chicken breasts, 6 tenderloins, and 8 cups of chicken broth!
Do you want to know how you can snag this deal as well? Let me share how you can do the same:
1. Look in your grocery store sales ad and wait for split chicken breast to go on sale for $.99 per pound. If you live near a Bi-Lo, you can snag this sale Friday – Sunday, March 18-20, per the weekly advertisement.
2. Purchase what you need to last you about 6 weeks. Since sales usually run in cycles about every 6 weeks, I stock up on items when they are at their rock bottom price to last me until the next sale. In this case, the chicken sale repeated in 3 weeks. I will still be going to Bi-Lo this weekend to stock up!
3. Read this post by Erin Chase a/k/a the $5 Dinner Mom. Erin walks you through skinning and cutting the chicken. I love the picture explanations!
4. After watching Erin take the chicken and remove the breast and tenderloin from the bone, go try it! Erin does a great job in her post, but she is a pro at cutting the chicken. I am not! I have learned along the way, so I will include what has worked for me.
Tracy’s Tips from Erin’s instructions:
- The first few times I tried to cut the chicken, I tore up the tenderloin. I could not find it because I did not cut the breast all the way to the bone. After the third or fourth try, the chicken was cut differently in the package. The butcher was really kind, and I found the tenderloin very easily in that batch of chicken. I have not had any more problems finding the tenderloin since that batch.
- If you only get the chicken breasts, then you still got a great deal! I just chalked up my mistakes to needing some more practice. My practice has paid off! But I did not start out well. I tell you this to encourage you if the tenderloin does not surface.
- I have found it easier to use a knife to start getting the chicken away from the bone. Then I use my hands to pry the chicken away. This system has worked for me since I do not end up cutting the tenderloin which is tucked up under the breast against the bone. If you are squeamish about handling raw chicken, then this tip might not work for you.
- When I make my chicken broth in the crock pot, I cook it all night, and then let it cool during the day. I then measure out 2 cups at a time, and freeze it in GLAD containers.
How about you? Are you ready to save some money? This process used to take me quite some time – about an hour – from start to finish. Having perfected my system, I can accomplish cutting and freezing the cuts in about 30 minutes. Is this time well spent? It is for me. I try to work on the chicken after dinner or while dinner is cooking. This little bit of time saves me so much money. I hope you find the savings worth your effort as well!