31 Brilliant Ways To Dress Up A Pound Of Chicken

Chicken Portions are Better Broken Down by Parts, Not Weight

Because chicken parts can vary so widely in size and weight, it’s a little bit challenging to get that 5 or 6 ounces of cooked chicken per person dialed in perfectly.

Instead, a better approach is to think of how many pieces of chicken you want to serve everyone – and that’s going to be dictated by the parts themselves and their average size.

Boneless Chicken

Boneless chicken (boneless chicken thighs or boneless chicken breasts), generally yield anywhere between 6.5 ounces of cooked chicken and 10 ounces of cooked chicken.

This usually means that you can get away with giving each guest a single boneless chicken breast or boneless chicken thigh, though it might not be a bad idea to have a little bit extra on hand.

Some guests are going to be bigger eaters than others and you want to be sure that you have seconds for anyone that would like some.

Split Chicken Breasts

Split chicken breasts usually come in packs of four and average around 2.5 to 3 pounds of uncooked meat or so.

That’s going to cut down and yield anywhere between 6 and 8 ounces of meat per breast, letting you feed about four adults (and six children) with just a pair of split breasts.

When shopping for any chicken that includes bone you need to anticipate about a 15% “loss” off the top of the package weight.

Chicken Thighs

Chicken thigh sizes and weights can be all over the place, from tiny chicken thighs that weigh next to nothing (even with bones in them) to gigantic chicken thighs that look like they could feed a small army without any trouble at all.

If you average things out, though, most chicken thigh “four packs” are going to come in at anywhere between one and 1.5 pounds, with each side yielding about four or 5 ounces of cooked meat by the time you are done.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to expect your guests to be able to eat two chicken thighs of average size, understanding that some folks are probably only going to eat one and others are maybe going to want a little more than the two they’ve been given.

Chicken Drums

Chicken drumsticks also come in a bunch of different shapes and sizes, but the average chicken drum is going to weigh about 4 ounces. The yield here is going to be about half that when everything is said and done.

Shoot for two drumsticks for every adult eater (and one for every child) and you’ll almost always be in the clear.

Whole Legs

Chicken legs are made up of the drumstick and the thigh, with whole legs usually yielding anywhere between 6 and 7 ounces of cooked meat.

One whole leg is usually plenty enough for each adult eater (even for those that are bigger eaters than others). If you’re not going to break them down into component parts – drums and thighs – you’ll want to stick with one leg per person.

Four whole chicken legs will almost always feed a family of four without any trouble at all!

Chicken Wings

There isn’t a person under the sun that doesn’t love to dig into really good chicken wings, which is why you usually want to go a little overboard when estimating how many wings per person you want to have on hand.

Between four and six whole wings will usually do the trick, with whole wings comprising the drum as well as the flat. If you are buying wings that have already been split it’s not a bad idea to double up, making sure everyone has between eight and 12 wings to dive into.

Roast Chickens and Cornish Game Hens

Your average roaster chicken is going to come in tipping the scales at between 3 and 4 pounds, and that’s usually enough to feed 4 to 6 people pretty comfortably. Smaller roaster chickens and larger roaster chickens are available, but that 3 to 4 pounds sweet spot is the ideal.

Cornish game hens are significantly smaller than your average roaster chicken, usually weighing no more than between 1.5 pounds and 2 pounds. Smaller Cornish game hens will usually feed one person with the larger birds feeding two.


2. Protect your counters

No one wants chicken juice all over their kitchen. So place one thigh at a time in a ziptop bag (these silicone ones are great if you're trying to use less plastic). Often, recipes involving flattened chicken breasts instruct you to butterfly the meat before pounding it—but since thighs are generally thinner than breasts in the first place, you can skip that step here.

General Rules

  • To replace the meat of a whole chicken with skinless/boneless meat you need a little over half the weight of the whole chicken called for. Use good stock instead of water in the recipe to replace flavors expected from the whole chicken.
  • To replace skinless/boneless meat with the meat of a a whole chicken, you need a chicken weighing (after removing giblets) a little less than twice the weight of the meat called for.
  • Simmered meat will weigh about 64% of the weight of the raw meat. By poaching (190°F/88°C to 198°F/92°C) and cooling in the broth, you can get as high as 70%.
  • For making stock, the fat goes into the pot along with the skin, bones, and off-cuts. Chefs have found much of the flavor we expect from fat is water soluble. Remove the fat from the strained stock using your gravy separator. For details see our page.

This table below is for a chicken sold packaged as 6.12 pounds (5.8 pounds unpacked). A smaller chicken will not yield as high a percentage of meat. A 3 pound chicken may yield as low as 80% of the table percentage (42% instead of 52%)

Example:   To know how much weight in whole chickens you must buy to have 5 pounds of breast meat, use the Whole Chicken table. divide 5 pounds by 0.28 (28%) to find 17.9 pounds of whole chickens. Conversely, to find out how much skinless, boneless breast meat your 5 pound chicken will yield, multiply 5 by 0.28 to get 1.4 pounds (1 pound 6 ounces).

Example:   To find how much weight in whole thighs you need to buy to yield 3 pounds of skinless, boneless thigh meat, use the Parts table. Divide 3 pounds by 0.55 (55%) to find 5.45 pounds of whole thighs. Conversely, to find out how much meat a 4.5 pound tray of thighs will yield, multiply 4.5 by 0.55 to get 2.48 pounds.

All About Chicken Breasts: Weights and Sizes

About Chicken Breasts
About Chicken Breasts

Ever wondered how the sizes of chicken breasts correspond to their weight? If the weight of one chicken breast is 8 ounces, it will be the size of two adult palms. On the other hand, a 4 oz chicken breast compared to one hand will be the size of a palm and can be held in one hand.

Meanwhile, 8 oz chicken breast size can fill one cup when cubed or sliced. This scale is for raw, skinless, boneless breasts. Measuring chicken breast ounces is a better way when compared to measuring the number of breasts or cups.

Here is a summary of the different measurements discussed here:

Chicken Breast OzNumber of BreastsCups
8 ounces21
16 ounces (1 pound)41.5
32 ounces (2 pounds)83
48 ounces (3 pounds)124.5

Nutrition Information:

Chicken, especially the white meat portion is a common choice for healthy, low-fat diets. It has a lot of protein, without the fat, and can be cooked in a number of ways without loss of flavor.

One chicken breast (around 4 ounces in weight) has the following nutritional breakdown:

  • Calories: 284
  • Protein: 53.4 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Fat: 6.2 grams

As a result, the chicken breast is an ideal option for those on a low-carb diet as the breast contains no carbohydrates.

Which is Healthier- Chicken Breast or Thigh?

As you may have noticed, chicken breasts are the healthiest part of the chicken, known as white meat. It has a high protein content and lower cholesterol and saturated fats.

However, chicken thighs are more preferable generally in terms of both taste and affordability. They have more moisture and are softer, and thus taste better. But are they healthier than chicken breasts?

Chicken thighs of the same weight as breasts have 3 times more fat and 201 calories in total. In terms of fat content, the breasts are a healthier choice because they are much leaner.

Calculating the exact amount in terms of calories and nutrients is difficult as cooking it with sides like veggies and cooking it in oil will add to the calories as well. Similarly, the number of carbs in your meal can come from things like potatoes, bread, or rice.

In Brief

Hopefully, this article will be useful to you and your culinary endeavors. Knowing the number of chicken breasts per pound makes it easier to scale recipes up and down to make them easier to prepare.

Now that you know how many chicken breasts in a pound you can meal prep and cook in bulk very easily, without any more lengthy calculations at the kitchen counter, or blind guesswork. With this newfound knowledge, go ahead and make yourself that chicken dinner!