It's a pattern that may leave red-meat lovers in a flap. With rising commodity prices and recent health-related scares around beef, chicken has become increasingly popular on restaurant menus in the US, while steaks and burgers are taking a grilling.
According to market research group Mintel's Menu Insights report released this week, the number of menu items in US restaurants featuring chicken as an ingredient grew an average of 12 percent over the past three years, particularly in the casual dining sector and fast food eateries.
And given the recent bad rap beef has received with a mad cow disease scare in California and the pink slime debacle -- beef trimmings zapped with ammonia gas and used as inexpensive filler -- chicken is poised to be the star protein for at least the next two years, predict Mintel analysts.
Meanwhile, the most popular poultry menu offering? The ubiquitous chicken fingers, which showed a 10 percent increase between 2009 and 2012, due in large part to children's menus and appetizer lists.
Similarly, Buffalo wings increased 19 percent during the same period, while chicken wraps grew 35 percent.
Stats are compiled from the menus of 350 of the largest chain restaurants and 150 independent restaurants across the US, which are updated quarterly.
Chicken is also becoming a popular pizza topping as a healthier alternative to pepperoni and saw an increase of 26 percent on restaurant menus across the US.
In fact, another market research report, this time by Technomic, reported last month that when it comes to pizza in full-service restaurants, chicken is the most-listed protein topping in flavors like Buffalo chicken, Thai and barbecue.