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marilyn_sue

White Meat or Dark Meat?

Marilyn_Sue
last year

I would much rather have dark meat but will eat the white if that is all there is. What is your preferred meat?

Sue

Comments (65)

  • Lars
    last year

    When I make roast Algerian chicken, I prefer the white meat, but generally I prefer dark. The white meat I cook is never dry.

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  • Michael
    last year

    Chicken. Thighs, boneless, skinless, 165 F.

    Turkey. No preference.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked Michael
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  • marylmi
    last year

    I prefer white.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked marylmi
  • lindaohnowga
    last year

    For me, white meat only. Hubby will eat both.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked lindaohnowga
  • FinallyHome
    last year

    Dark.


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  • plllog
    last year

    FOAS, it was about the "dry" sayers. Lars was saying, rightly in my opinion, that if the reason you don't like white meat is because it's "dry" you haven't had properly cooked white meat. Even one of those cheap, tough free turkeys can be made moist and good, both white and dark, if prepared and cooked properly. I've been served turkey so dry and tasteless (probably also insufficiently rested) that it took a whole puddle of gravy to eat.

    That's not a dig at those like you who prefer the dark meat because they like it better! That's why there's a whole bird!

    I'm making a turkey breast for Tiny Thanksgiving because we won't have any dark meat eaters, and I'd rather a bigger breast than more bones from a smaller whole turkey.

    I prefer the white because I'm not so fond of turkey flavor. The dark is more turkey-flavor than the white. See! I agree with the people who say that dark meat has more flavor! It does. But I can't choke it down sliced on the plate without cranberry sauce or similar to tone down that flavor. :) (I don't mind it so much cut up into a pie or casserole).

    Marilyn_Sue thanked plllog
  • cooper8828
    last year

    I prefer white but also eat the dark.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked cooper8828
  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    last year

    What FOAS said.


    What's ironic? Work gives us a bird every year. When I get it, I immediately remove the breast and freeze it for Christmas. I love it then and only then. Every other time (multiple family and work meals), I choose dark meat. If all else fails, I'll buy an extra drumstick or two.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked rob333 (zone 7a)
  • lonestar123
    last year

    I like dark meat

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  • Angela Id
    last year

    I like dark, hubby likes white.

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  • Kathsgrdn
    last year

    Dark meat.

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  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    last year

    3rd option: the wonderful crispy skin LOL. Actually if I'm cooking a whole bird I do prefer the white, both at the table and for sandwiches later. DH loves turkey legs. He can have them! The leftover dark meat will go into soup or a pot pie. If I am only cooking pieces, though, I do like just the thighs. Roasted by themselves they don't seem to be so slimy.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked ediej1209 AL Zn 7
  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last year

    If it's roasted, I prefer the white meat and the wings - do wings count as white meat?

    If stewed, braised or grilled, I like dark meat.

    And yes! to crispy skin - and the tail as well.

    I also prefer to use leftover roast dark meat in pot pies & tetrazzini.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • Olychick
    last year

    I prefer dark, but when freshly roasted (turkey or chicken) and not overcooked, I like white, too. On sandwiches I prefer white. Leftovers, not in a sandwich, I prefer dark. Don't like the taste of white the second day unless it's in a sandwich,with some mayo and lettuce, etc.

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  • wildchild2x2
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I will go eat at Cynic's table. Spot on. Too many people s dislike things because they never had them prepared correctly. I won't even go into the steamed or boiled turkeys some serve every year. You know the great, great grandma's time stewed turkey that cooked for 12 hours.

    I prefer white meat, DH likes the dark.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked wildchild2x2
  • lily316
    last year

    Dark meat. I never eat the white but husband does,

    Marilyn_Sue thanked lily316
  • yeonassky
    last year

    White meat for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Dark meat fried with Danish browned potatoes after the holidays.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked yeonassky
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    last year

    I like both but tend toward the white...it's a calorie thing.

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  • nickel_kg
    last year

    I'll eat both but generally choose dark meat.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked nickel_kg
  • Judy Good
    last year

    Dark for me, white for hubby and kids. I only like white if it is mixed into a chicken salad or a soup, not plain.

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  • Raye Smith
    last year

    Dark meat, richer flavor. I have a cookbook from the 30's that recommends cooking turkeys at 400 degrees, using that method the white meat isn't dry or tough.

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  • KATHY
    last year

    Chicken thighs are my favorite. Turkey white meat only. All the dark meat on my turkey goes into a stock pot for turkey soup.

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  • junco East Georgia zone 8a
    last year

    Raye Smith--yes! I follow my mother's turkey recipe which I also found in a Red Book Cookbook from the 70's. Turkey stuffed with cornbread dressing, placed in a pan lined with strips of heavy duty foil both ways, completely wrapped and edges crimped. Bake in a 450 degree oven, usually about 3 hours for the 16 lb turkeys I buy, uncover and brown at a lower temp for another 30 minutes. This method gives you lots of drippings for gravy, tender succulent breast and dark meat. Can't beat it in my opinion. Along with good gravy.

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  • janey_alabama
    last year

    I enjoy the white meat. My husband enjoys the legs.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked janey_alabama
  • Rusty
    last year

    I like the dark meat of both chicken and turkey. To me, even 'properly cooked' white meat is tasteless. It may not be dry, but it is still doesn't have any flavor. I also like the wing tips when they are crispy. And the flat section of the wing, but not the wing 'drummie', too much white meat on it.

    Rusty

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  • Elmer J Fudd
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Rusty, mass produced industrial scale poultry lacks flavor. I'm referring to the big brand names... Tyson, Perdue, etc. If you want good tasting chicken, white and dark meat, buy chicken from smaller operations. Free range chickens that can eat bugs and peck in dirt also are more flavorful. The high volume stuff isn't worth eating. The better chicken is more expensive but worth it.


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  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    last year

    Who roasts a turkey with "slimy" dark meat? I've never had that happen in my life! Nor have I ended up with dry white meat. Some people just don't know how to cook.

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  • annie1992
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I like dark meat best on both chicken and turkey, but I'll eat the white meat if that's what is available. I do purchase heritage turkeys from a local Amish farmer and raise my own chickens, so perhaps it's that "mass produced" issue that Elmer mentioned, as mine are not dry. I do brine the turkeys before roasting, and sometimes the chickens too.

    I also find that the white meat has less flavor, but that's a personal preference thing.

    Annie

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  • Tonya Yoder
    last year

    The best chicken is obviously a fryer which is typically 2-3lbs in size,homegrown and butchered at home. For anyone that has ever had the privilege of eating one of these on the same day it was butchered knows exactly what i am talking about.

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  • annie1992
    last year

    Tonya, I never eat chickens the same day I slaughter them, I pack them on ice and let them "rest" for at least 24 hours before eating them or packaging them for the freezer. It seems to help make the meat less "stringy", much like hanging beef to age helps make it more tender. It's simply personal preference, of course, but I can tell the difference.

    Annie

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  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    last year

    Annie, I remember when I was young, going to a relative's house for Sunday dinner, which was still running around the yard. After he was dispatched and de-feathered he was promptly cooked. And tasted weird to me.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked ediej1209 AL Zn 7
  • plllog
    last year

    My mother, who used to have to pluck the chickens (a chore she did not enjoy) always said a bird had to go right in the pot, or hang for a day. For right in the pot, you're trying to beat out the rigor mortis.

    We have a couple of good growers who deliver much better tasting, ethically raised birds. I wish I could get heritage chickens that weren't so breast heavy, however. There are a couple of butcher shops in nearby towns that might have them, but I haven't gotten around to dragging around on a meat tour.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked plllog
  • TXSkeeter
    last year

    Will readily eat either white or dark meat on the plate but for some reason, prefer white meat for sandwiches. Prefer dark meat if making stock or soup, breast meat if I'm stir frying for wife and I.

    Typically buy turkey only around the holidays since most of my immediate family actually likes ham better. This year will be two turkey breasts (was buy one get one free) that my son will smoke over apple or hickory wood early T-day to be ready by dinner time at 2ish. Will still have a small ham for the turkey haters.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked TXSkeeter
  • Marilyn_Sue
    Original Author
    last year

    We always have turkey and ham for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, even for Easter too.

    Sue

  • nickel_kg
    last year

    I enjoy turkey a lot, and love how cheap it is right now. I have one defrosting in the frig, one in the freezer for later, and am tempted to go back to the store tomorrow for one more. I tried a heritage free range local fresh bird once, and guess I am blessed with plebeian tastes when it comes to turkey! I like the cheap Honeysuckle birds more than the expensive one. Turkey soup, sandwiches, casseroles, here I come :-)

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  • hounds_x_two
    last year

    Give me a combination plate, please!

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  • plllog
    last year

    Re the sandwiches, it's easier to get nice flat slices from breast. The dark meat has muscles going every which way, and is more small pieces. Do you think that's why you like white better for sandwiches? Or maybe that the less strong flavor goes better with the other ingredients?

    Marilyn_Sue thanked plllog
  • Nancy 6b
    last year

    My husband wants me to cook Turkey breast for holidays, only 4 of us so less waste he says. I like having a whole Turkey, probably silly but to me white meat just tastes better on it. Plus you get more drippings and giblets. My poor husband has to suffer though because I am going to prepare it the way I like it. He likes it dry and tough. That is for any meat. Last time he grilled burgers I could hardly chew it. HAMBURGERS! How did he do that?

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  • TXSkeeter
    last year

    As to breast meat on sandwiches, it does slice much easier and I suppose there isn't a specific taste reason why I prefer it but in general, my sandwiches are pretty simple compared to most people's choices. I typically prefer white bread although a good seeded rye is at the top of the list too, real mayo on turkey, chicken or roast beef, one or another kind of mustard on nearly anything else, cheese maybe, no lettuce, no tomato, yes to dill pickles and/or a good sweet onion slice depending on my cravings at the time. Wife prefers the little "taco size" flour tortillas to build what she calls a sandwich and prefers lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard in addition to whatever meat she chooses. No bread for her...

    One of the issues around here is that Thanksgiving leftovers are invariably doled out (not by ME mind you) to whomever/whoever (?) even hints at taking some home and that usually means that we're left with veggies and some cornbread stuffing but very little sandwich material of the meat variety. I don't mind sharing but would prefer to be the one choosing what goes and what stays instead of just trying to be a polite host... Yes, I'm cranky that way and am not particularly crazy about making a sweet potato mashed potato cornbread stuffing cranberry sauce gravy sandwich with no turkey, especially when turkey sandwiches either hot OR cold the day after or turkey and dumplings are such a treat that are looked forward to. But that's just me...

    Marilyn_Sue thanked TXSkeeter
  • plllog
    last year
    last modified: last year

    TXSkeeter, some recommendations: If they have them where you live, your wife might like Ozery Bakery One Buns. They're yeast dough and come in Wheat (white), Whole Wheat, Multi-grain and maybe another, but they're thin and flat and split like a hamburger bun without all the extra bread. 100 Calories per bun, about the size of your wife's taco sized tortillas, but stiff enough to hold together a sandwich where tortillas are floppy.

    Also, maybe snag some of the good sandwich turkey in the kitchen, or even on your plate, and make your own doggy bag before the doling out begins. Or make a bigger turkey. Or get a small extra turkey to make the next day. You shouldn't have to be turkeyless with all the fixings! Unless your wife has a reason for depriving you and she's hurrying to get the turkey out of the house before you can get it? I'm not getting in the middle of that one, if it's the case! But I will recommend, since you included the question mark, using whom/whomever after a preposition ("to"). Substitute "he/him" and see which works for whom, or when there's an "and" with your pronoun, and it'll be easier to hear which sounds right.


    Marilyn_Sue thanked plllog
  • cynic
    last year

    A gf used to buy a whole turkey when cheap, pull the breast and throw the rest. Even though it is actually (often) cheaper to do this, I just have an inherent problem with doing it. I think grainlady had a heart attack when I told her that!

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  • John Liu
    last year

    Well, I'll eat anything if that is all there is. But I prefer dark turkey meat. Light turkey meat is too often dry. I suppose light meat can be perfectly cooked and moist, flavorful, etc. But even then, give me a leg.

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  • linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago)
    last year

    So how DO you cook it so the white meat is not dry? If having to cook the dark to a higher temperature? It's fine to say people don't know how to cook : but how DO you do it?


    Some year's it's dry, some years not. I can't tell WHY that is from one year to the next, when I've used a thermometer every time. I cook a turkey once a year.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked linnea56 (zone 5b Chicago)
  • plllog
    last year

    Start with a high quality turkey. With a lesser turkey, add some fat to the breast. Use a high sided roaster so you can braise it. I use a whole bottle of white wine (palatable but cheap) for a 20+ lb. bird. Make a loose tent of heavy foil to cover. Baste occasionally. That's what I do and the white meat isn't dry. I'm sure there are lots of other ways to do it. People give raves to deep fried, for instance.

    So here's the real clincher: Remove the turkey to the cutting board before you start finishing the veg, etc. Let it rest. Long enough. Do not pierce the skin. Just let it sit there. The biggest reason meat goes dry is that eager people don't let it rest. Cut it too soon--or even puncture the skin--and all the moisture runs out. There's no putting it back.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked plllog
  • Elmer J Fudd
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Many will like the approach in the preceding contribution but this steams the turkey and doesn't roast it. The flavors that each method produces are different. This is why many like the taste of rotisserie chicken, the bird has been roasted.

    The challenge with a turkey is that the breasts and the dark meat parts cook at different rates. By the time the dark meat is done, the breasts are overcooked.

    If you don't want to cook turkey parts or separate them before cooking to allow for different times, put the bird it in the pan breast side down so that the legs and wings get more heat. Flip it over for the last hour or so of cooking. Assess doneness with a digital thermometer. It's 160 at the core for white and maybe 180 for dark but I'm not sure. Check. The cores will gain another 5 degrees out of the oven while resting

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  • TXSkeeter
    last year

    As to cooking turkey so its not dry, when cooking a turkey bird in the oven I usually use a Reynolds Oven Bag in an appropriate size for the bird. One time use, seems to cook more quickly than standard roasting, easy cleanup, so tender and juicy that it falls off the bone (both white and dark meat), resulting turkey juices easy to contain and use for gravy or whatever. The only slight disadvantage I've found is that if you're more interested in nicely roasted and crispy skin rather than a nice tender and tasty bird, you'll likely be disappointed. To that end, we cook turkey to eat, not to look at and take pictures of so no problem there. Too, the cooking bag probably won't work worth a flip if you usually stuff the bird with anything but the typical seasonings (onion, celery, half an orange, salt/pepper, fresh sage, etc.).

    Traditional cooking method? Probably not but once you try it, you'll make it one of your go-to methods.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked TXSkeeter
  • Elmer J Fudd
    last year

    TXSkeeter, cooking a turkey in a bag is also a method of steaming. That's why the skin doesn't crisp and the fat under it won't render. Both of which affect the taste, something to consider if you're "cooking a turkey to eat".


    Marilyn_Sue thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • TXSkeeter
    last year

    Yes, I'm well aware that its steaming but I'm not cooking for crisp skin and any fat under the skin helps keep the meat tasty and moist. I'll still take my oven bag turkey over many if not most of the "dry roasted" birds I've eaten although pillog's method seems quite amicable and well worth a try.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked TXSkeeter
  • Elmer J Fudd
    last year
    last modified: last year

    When fat renders, the flavor of it and the meat changes. Add water (steam) to the process and the taste result is different. It stays in the bird either way.

    Turkey can be roasted without drying out, it just takes a tad more effort than putting the bird in the oven and setting a timer. I've learned over the years from many knowledgeable sources (especially Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen) that cooking anything is as much about the process used as about ingredients and combinations. Slight process changes can greatly affect the outcome.

    Do it as you like, be happy and enjoy your meal.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • plllog
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Yes, braising employs steam to keep the meat moist, and better cook from the inside out, but the effect is steam-roasting. The skin does crisp and brown. We carve in the kitchen, but the birds are gorgeous. The fat does render. That's where the loose tent of foil comes in. The steam escapes, rather than poaching the bird. The flavor is roasted, not poached. OTOH, I've served rolled and tied boneless turkey breasts cooked sous vide, and everybody loved the flavor--to me, that tasted more like poached, though I used the correct temperature for the texture to be like roasted. Sous vide indeed did not render, nor dry at all, even though it was declared delicious.

    Marilyn_Sue thanked plllog