Just to add more confusion to the mystery of how much bone is in a chicken wing, the USDA database lists two different amounts, depending on which link you choose when searching.
Looking at the info I chose when writing this original blog – 05100, Chicken, broilers or fryers, wing, meat and skin, raw – the data base indicates that a raw chicken wing consists of 38% of “bone and connective tissue.”
Looking at the screen shot provided by a reader (below), which is from the same database, a chicken wing contains for 68% refuse (46% bone, 21% skin and 1% separable fat).
I am puzzled.
- The database info for a raw chicken wing with meat and skin indicates 38% bone and connective tissue.
- The database info for a raw chicken wing meat only indicates 46% bone.
That is quite a difference. When writing this post, I opted to use the USDA information that best aligned with my secondary source, the Australian Chicken Meat Federation.
The information provided on the Australian Chicken Meat Federation site is based on the average of ten chicken carcasses. According to their research, the average weight of a raw chicken wing is about 89 grams. Lean meat and skin account for 56 grams (about 63%), leaving 33 grams of bone / inedible stuff (about 37%).
With that in mind I used the USDA info that closely matched the Australian information.
I am not saying that 46% bone in a chicken wing is incorrect. I am just explaining why I chose to use 38% as th basis of my calculations.