Keel Chicken – Everything You Need to Know

by Anne B. Robinson

Chicken is the go-to food for any mother or chef who doesn’t know what to cook. Dinner? Yes. Lunch? It doesn’t get better. Breakfast? Why not!

Because chicken is so common in all kitchens worldwide, we’ve heard of all its varieties. You probably know roasted chicken, grilled chicken, baked chicken, etc.

I can go on, but there are endless types of chicken.

How about keel chicken? Is that even a type of chicken?

Well, not exactly. Here’s everything you need to know about the matter!

What Is Keel Chicken?

Keel isn’t a type of chicken. Instead, it’s a part of the chicken’s body in the exact center between the breasts.

When you cut the chicken in half, you cut it at the center of the breasts, ending with two pieces. Each of them will have a piece of the keel, which is skinless. If you want to cut the keel alone, you’ll want to cut each breast out from the side. Then, you’ll end up with a third piece in the middle that has no bones or skin—this is the keel.

In a whole chicken, the keel is the pointed part between the two thighs, on the other end of the chicken’s body from the neck. It’s strategically positioned as a meeting point for the wing muscles, extending down to the chickens’ sternum.

What Is the Difference Between Keel and Traditional Chicken?

The keel is only a piece of the chicken, so there’s not really a thing as ‘traditional chicken’ and ‘keel chicken.’

The main difference between the keel and the other body parts is that it doesn’t contain any fat, skin, or meat. The keel is basically a bony part and some cartilage around it; it’s not your average chicken piece. So when you eat it, you’re eating the cartilage, not the meat. That’s unless you decide to cook it with a chicken breast.

Examples of Foods Made With Keel Chicken

A lot of people prefer to cut the keel and remove it, so they can lay the chicken as flat as they can and cook it. Meanwhile, others prefer to leave it because they can cook it along with the chicken meat.

You can make fried chicken keel. Because there’s no fat in the keel, it becomes extra crunchy when fried, and it tastes exceptionally good.

Alternatively, you can roast the keel with the breasts. The cartilage in the keel causes it to taste extra juicy when roasted. You also won’t have to cut the chicken open to remove it, so it’s a bonus!

Is It Healthy to Eat Keel Chicken?

Keel chicken is healthy because of the cartilage in it. It contains a compound called chondroitin sulfate, which promotes healthy cartilage. In other words, it keeps your joints healthy. Some scientists even claim that the compound can be taken as a supplement for cartilage regrowth.

Moreover, the keel doesn’t contain fats, so even if it doesn’t have any benefits, at least it’s not unhealthy.

The Takeaway

Keel chicken is the bone that holds the breasts together, and it connects the wing muscles. People mostly remove it when they want to cook the chicken flat. However, you can use it to make some tasty chicken dishes.

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