Chicken is a staple in the diet of almost every American family. In fact, chicken outsold beef for the first time in 2013, making it America’s favorite protein — with breast meat accounting for 55% of all chicken meat sold. Crazy! It’s not hard to see why chicken is a top-seller: it’s generally cheaper and easier to cook than beef, has a better health rap, and it goes with just about everything. However, the chickens you find in most supermarkets aren’t raised healthfully. These factory-farmed chickens are raised for rapid growth and have a ton of health problems due to unsanitary living conditions — PLUS they’re fed everything from antibiotics to arsenic to GMOs, which you in turn consume when you eat them. Yikes!
So what’s a chicken lover to do? Go free range! I know, I know: the first thing people think when they hear “free range” is “empty wallet,” but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whole organic, free-range chickens are generally just cents more than the boneless skinless chicken breasts sold in the market, and because you’re using the whole chicken and not just paying for “parts,” you’re saving money at the same time. Plus, since they live a better life, so will you! Free-range, organic chickens have virtually none of the health concerns of factory-farmed chickens, and you’ll also get the nutritional benefit of the vitamin packed giblets (put them in the freezer for later) as well as the bones (save them to make stock – recipe to come!). And the best part? It tastes better than factory-farmed and could not be easier to make! Some people get grossed out over the sight of a whole chicken, and to those I say this: since when did it become repulsive to see where your food comes from?