Americans love to eat meat, and in fact they generally consume more meat than nearly any other nation’s citizens. Whether that’s a good thing is a matter of opinion, but what can be said for sure is that chicken in particular is a dominant protein in the United States. Billions of chickens are raised on farms for not only their eggs, but their meat, too, and this supports a huge industry for chicken wings and chicken as an ingredient in anything else. The best chicken wings may be healthy wings for consumers who want a lean snack, and some healthy wings may be unbreaded to lower the carb count, or healthy wings may have only natural ingredients in the sauce. What is more, chicken is nearly universally loved, and even Americans with religious dietary restrictions can eat chicken. What is more, chicken is not a “red meat” like beef is, and some Americans are concerned about their consumption levels of red meat. Chicken delivery is nearly always an option, and many delis offer rotisserie chicken, too.
Americans and Chicken Meat
Chicken meat is distinct from the consumption of chicken eggs, and the numbers certainly show that chicken stands as the number one American protein. In 2015, for a fairly recent example, Americans consumed some 90.1 pounds of chicken per capita, and in 2016, the National Chicken Council had estimated that in 2016, that figure would reach 91.8 pounds. In fact, Americans consume more chicken than any other part of the world, and statistics in 2015 can show this. In that year, some nine billion broiler chickens, weighing 52 billion pounds altogether (live weight) were produced. And in that year, some 40 billion pounds of chicken product was marketed, if measured on a ready-to-cook basis. And in the week leading up to July 4th, Americans purchase an impressive total of 700 million pounds of chicken.
How to Eat It
Many Americans may agree that there is no wrong way to eat chicken. Still, some popular methods are dominant, and one of them is chicken wings. Many restaurants and kitchens big and small offer chicken wings, and some in fact specialize in it. Other major food outlets offer chicken wings as supplements to what they primarily serve, such as having wings alongside pizza or pasta or nachos. Whether these wings are served as the main menu item or on the side, they can be served in boxes or paper buckets, and they may have bread on them for extra flavor. Bread or not, these chicken wings also typically either have sauces and spices baked into them, or on the side for dipping. Breaded chicken wings, for example, may be dipped int spicy or mild sauces such as spicy mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, ranch, and more. Often, this is what sets different chicken wings apart: their sauces and spices, where most of the flavor comes from.
Chicken is also a major ingredient in other dishes, such as in many forms of Mexican food. Strictly speaking, it is Tex-Mex that uses beef, cheddar cheese, and flour tortillas, while authentic Mexican and other Latin foods use chicken and fish as their protein instead. Chicken can be used in casseroles, salads, and nearly anything else, and it can be fried, baked, or grilled based on preference.
Where and when to eat chicken? A tourist in a city such as Miami may find many Latin inspired restaurants and dishes, and that certainly includes chicken. A tourist in Miami might search online for “great chicken places nearby” or “authentic Latin restaurants near me” and try out some highly rated local outlets. It is also popular to serve chicken wings, alongside nachos or pizza, at parties for watching sports events. Healthy wings, spicy or breaded wings, and more are often complimentary to pizza during these events. Some Americans might think of chicken wings and pizza the way they would think of cookies and milk. They’re fine separately, but a fun and whole meal together for anyone to enjoy.