The Great Fried Chicken Debate: Dark Meat Vs. White Meat


In honor of National Fried Chicken Day we decided to jump into one of the greatest food debates that there is: dark meat vs. white meat. To do that, we tasked some of our writers with the awesome responsibility of stating the case for one or the other, knowing full well that the weight of the masses and their strong chicken opinions was on their shoulders. Here’s what they came up with. Please do let us know where you stand on this important issue.

Dark Meat

Dark meat is clearly the superior option when it comes to fried chicken. Or really, any chicken at all. First of all, it’s not dry and stringy like white meat is. It’s got flavor to it. And for some reason, we idolize white meat in this country, which means that packs of dark meat are usually cheaper. Huzzah!

Second of all, anyone who says they don’t care about eating the drumstick is lying to themselves. It’s the perfect little handheld meal. You feel like a caveperson. You feel like you’re back in third grade, and still fighting over stuff like drumsticks.

Finally, dark meat usually contains bones, and bones are really where it’s at. When I lived in India, I came to appreciate the art of sucking the marrow out of chicken bones. Here in America, it’s totally disgusting to do in polite company, but still, it’s a bit of a habit. A delicious, delicious habit. – Emily Huffman

White Meat

I’ll concede that a good and meaty wing is a divine gift from on high and superior to dry and stringy white meat. But why does white meat have to be dry and stringy? I have had some phenomenal fried chicken breasts that were juicy and delicious — it’s all in the quality of the product. And when all things are equal (meaning delicious) white meat wins out. First, it’s (somewhat) healthier. To me, that means you can eat more of it without having heart attack fears. Always a plus.

Now let’s talk about volume. Chicken breasts dwarf wings and thighs and drumsticks (which are kind of gross with their tendons and whatnot. Wanna remove those? Get some pliers. PLIERS). They take up a good portion of the plate and offer plenty of different flavor experiences. You’ve got the under rib batter goodness. The meaty breast portion, which is heavenly when covered with a well-seasoned (and crispy) skin/batter. And of course, there’s the tenderloin. Which is the best part of a chicken. End of discussion.

Don’t get me wrong, I like wings. A lot. But the challenge of preparing a perfect chicken breast and the taste makes it feel superior. Prefer the hard and fill your feast with the premium cuts, not the throwaway pieces. – Jason Tabrys


Friends, coworkers, why must we fight? All fried chicken is beautiful. When cooked correctly, with just the right amount of breading and seasoning, dark or white meat can be a meaty wonder to satisfy the clamoring masses at your next cookout. In the mood for wings? Awesome. Wanna eat a chicken breast? You do you. All are perfectly delicious options. This is America, people. You don’t have to choose between light and dark meat. Go crazy. Eat both. – Alyssa Fikse