Dark meat? White meat? I can remember as a kid hearing these words tossed around while standing in line at KFC. I had no idea what it meant then, only that it somehow affected how many drumsticks – my personal favorite – ended up in the bucket. At some point I figured out that white meat referred to the oft-overcooked chicken breast and wings and the moist, juicy legs and thighs were the dark meat. And here’s why…
Dark Meat vs White Meat
Dark meat’s darker in color because of a protein called myoglobin. Myoglobin supplies oxygen to the chicken’s muscles, so the more the muscle’s used, the more myoglobin in the muscle. Chickens don’t fly so the breast and wing aren’t put to much use, requiring very little myoglobin. The thigh and leg muscles are worked frequently, (all that running around like a chicken with its head…well, you get the picture) requiring more myoglobin.
Now that you’ve got it figured out, you can cook up one of these chicken dishes!