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drdoombot's avatar

Do you eat the whole chicken?

Asked by drdoombot (8135points) July 31st, 2009

My parents and most of the community I live in immigrated to the US from the Soviet Union. I’ve noticed that my friends and relatives from the old country completely devour a cooked chicken, no matter how it was cooked. When I say completely devour, I mean the neck, the skin, the cartilage and the stuff inside the bones too. Personally, I find I can’t eat any part of the chicken but the breast (and occasionally buffalo wings).

I’m wondering if people from the old country learned to utilize all parts of the chicken because of scarcity of resources and a stronger sense of practicality. You don’t often see Americans gnawing on the bones at KFC…

So, is there a connection between eating the whole chicken and coming from a land of fewer resources? Or is just a coincidence that my American friends and I are strictly white meat and everyone else I know are marrow-suckers?

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27 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

You might be right. My parents were Russian Jews, and we grew up eating the “whole chicken”. I still try to use the whole chicken” (and I mean this in the generic – I don’t like to throw away any non-spoiled food.

Facade's avatar

I only eat the white meat, namely breasts.

Darwin's avatar

We always ate “the whole chicken” when I was growing up. I always assumed it was a combination of factors, including parents who grew up during the Depression, parents raising 3 children on one income, and the insatiable need for teenagers to eat everything in sight.

My children don’t eat “the whole chicken” because since we had children at an older age we have never had to scrounge for food in their lifetimes. As a result they are spoiled, and refuse to believe that my food budget in grad school came entirely from recycling aluminum cans.

I would say that there is a strong connection between eating the whole chicken and coming from a land or a time of fewer resources.

gggritso's avatar

Definitely! I immigrated from Russia with my parents, and they definitely eat the whole chicken. However, I think that even though it started from a scarcity of resources at this point it grew into that culture. Lots of Russians eat chicken giblets because they find them delicious, not because resources are scarce.

galileogirl's avatar

I’m sure it was either the Depression or economical life choices. When I was a kid we fed a family of 8 on one chicken. The last kid to get to the table got “the last piece that made it over the fence”. While we were cleaning up after dinner the carcass and innards went into a pot and simmered for a while. Then with veggies and lots of rice and you had lunch for the next day, $1,50 chicken feeding 8 people 2 times.

Vincentt's avatar

We’re from the Netherlands and we eat the whole thing. Then again, my parents are really, let’s say, economical.

dpworkin's avatar

Thanks @Darwin for a better and more illuminating answer than my own. I do agree that it is highly influenced by former economic status and feelings about economic stability.

Darwin's avatar

Besides, to make really good chicken broth you need the feet and everything.

galileogirl's avatar

Love the giblets simmered in soy sauce and vinegar-a great snack hot or cold. They used to sell then in containers but I haven’t seen them for a while. My Filipina stepmom taught me.

PerryDolia's avatar

No, thank you. Only the white meat. I have never understood people who waste their time on the other parts. I have always assumed it was some ancient bone-gnawing ritual.

lloydbird's avatar

I can only eat beaks when I’m peckish.

ragingloli's avatar

i don’t eat the innards.
my favourite part of the bird are the legs. i don’t like the breast much.

rooeytoo's avatar

GA to lloydbird!

The young aboriginal boy who often stays with us practically eats the entire chicken leg bone and does eat the wing tips. I tell him he doesn’t have to but he says he likes it.

dynamicduo's avatar

I’m wondering if people from the old country learned to utilize all parts of the chicken because of scarcity of resources and a stronger sense of practicality.

Bingo. Back when it was your own effort growing food and protecting animals, it was simply nonsensical to throw away anything. I’m 100% North American and I even have a thrifty “use all” mentality when it comes to my food. Usually I keep bones for making soup in lieu of cracking them open at the table though.

The dark meat is the best part of the bird! So soft and delicious. I often find breast meat to be too dry and pasty for my tastes.

Blondesjon's avatar

We use everything but the cluck.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I don’t eat the feathers, head or entrails.

janbb's avatar

My mother – a Jew of Russian origin – asks for the turkey’s tushie at Thanksgiving so she can eat it as well as the drum sticks and sucking on the bones. Me, an assimilated American, only likes the antiseptic white meat. I do think it has to do with ethnicity, culture and habits of abundance or scarcity.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I only eat the breasts and the wings meaning I like the white meat. (Not the OTHER white meat). I must not be from the old country either.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I’m a breast woman. I like the legs when they are in the form of buffalo wings. Many cultures eat things that most people in America turn their nose at. Although I don’t want to ever eat the whole chicken, I think it’s because we are wasteful and spoiled. We’ve never had to eat the whole chicken.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I’m a Breast guy… as one could expect….

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

nah all stupid plays on humor aside I’ll eat the whole damn thing.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I can tell the spoiled folks from the ones that know that cheap easy food isn’t always the way. As a hunter, I know that when you butcher an animal, the cheek meat is the most tender. That’s on the face, not the south end. To be wasteful with food is a crime, and should be punishable by having to survive on tofu and bean sprouts instead of REAL food.

Darwin's avatar

My daughter loves tofu. Cold tofu. Right out of the box.

ragingloli's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra
everything that can be digested and contains nutrients is real food.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@ragingloli yeah, but why eat third or fourth grade beef when you can eat GOOD beef? The largest purchaser of cow eyeballs is McDonalds, guess what they use them for?

Good food doesn’t have to be expensive, but cheap fast food is never going to be healthy for you.

ragingloli's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra
eyeballs are considered a delicacy in some cultures.

johlucmoha's avatar

I grew up eating the feet and the livers,gizzards, my favourite part of the chicken is the neck, wings and back. My parents grew their own chickens. It was a treat when one was cooked,
it was like a Sunday meal. To this day I still crave for fresh chicken, they are the best.

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