Big Birds


When it comes to chickens, bigger isn't necessarily better.


An average chicken today weighs a pound and a half more than the average chicken two decades ago. But from a feed conversion standpoint, it's actually more expensive to grow the birds bigger, explains Bill Roenigk, Senior VP of the National Chicken Council. The efficiency of handling bigger birds at the processing plant, though, offsets the cost of the feed.


But bigger isn't better for everybody. Mike Sobel, director of purchasing for Zaxby's, a Southeast chicken chain, says big tenderloins don't fit his sandwich buns, and the meat can be tough and take longer to cook. Suppliers will cut it down to size, but that's not an appealing option for Sobel. "The meat just isn't as palatable."


Specifying these smaller "select" pieces over line-run products is pricey. Sobel pays an average of 52 cents extra for his cuts. What worries him most, though, is availability. "There are only so many tenders of that size range to go around."


If you're stuck with the bigger birds, Gregory Fatigate, associate dean of culinary arts at the CIA, suggests brining them for 12-24 hours in a salt solution enhanced with citrus or citric acid. It adds prep time, but helps with taste and texture.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

Agua fresca alternatives

At the original location of

...

FSD Resources