Evolution of boneless chicken

Baxter Black, DVM

KFC, formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken, is one of a handful of fast-food pioneers that changed the world’s eating habits. For more than 60 years they have staked a claim on the cheapest meat commodity you can buy.

The chicken my children grew up on is vastly different from the chicken I ate as a boy. Both are equally nutritious, yet the new chicken is so much more convenient. I can remember cutting up the whole chicken and fighting over the parts! Nowadays eating a box of chicken nuggets is as simple as sticking coins in a soda pop machine.

KFC has now announced a new plan to make all their chicken boneless! I guess I assumed it was going to anyway. Their surveys show that 60 percent prefer it that way. The holdout is the popular “Big Bucket” that has real pieces of the carcass, bone-in.

There’s a mind switch when I hear “boneless chicken.” I’m reminded of the cartoonist Gary Larson’s drawings of limp chickens laying about the barnyard. But if the market goes completely boneless, I can see poultry breeders embarking on a course of eliminating as many bones as possible from the live chicken. For instance, why do chickens have wings? They are as useless as arms on a Tyrannosaurus rex!

Another tactic would be inventing an invertebrate chicken. It could have an exoskeleton like lobsters or big beetles. Or they could be planted like oysters in a shell or barnacles in a pier. How ‘bout chicken meat in a shell like a 5-pound egg? Basically an egg with a head. Easy to feed, easy to gather, easy to entertain.

Or possibly a genetic combination of hen and fruit…all natural. Imagine boneless chicken you could peel like a banana! We already have chickpeas, Chiclets chewing gum, chicken fried steak, Chicken of the Sea, Rooster Cogburn and Fryer Tuck…why not Chickmelon? The possibilities are endless.

It’s been a long time since I had fried chicken like Aunt Effie used to make. She used Crisco. I liked the heart and ‘second joint,’ as Mother called it. It had a flavor of its own. Now it seems that chicken tasted like whatever you put on it, like feathered tofu.

Well, good luck KFC. As I’ve always said, I eat all the eggs I can, it’s one less chicken I have to contend with! ❖