Your next order of chicken wings could cost more.

The wholesale price of chicken wings has risen in recent years as wings gained in popularity. They cook fast, they're tasty and they can turn a profit.

That makes wings good business for restaurants like Maxine's Chicken and Waffles in downtown Indianapolis.

Manager Brian Bunnell says, "One of our largest selling items is our wing drummettes. It's all fresh chicken, never frozen and so the wings is 60 to 70% of our business." A survey by the National Chicken Council estimates 12 billion chicken wings were sold in 2008. Of that, 8.5 billion were sold in restaurants. Another 3.5 billion were sold at grocery stores.

Wings have now passed breasts as the most sought after part of the chicken for meals. The price reflects that change.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the average wholesale price for wings in 2009 was $1.47 per pound.

As we head toward the NCAA Basketball Tournament the price of wings is expected to rise again.

Bunnell claims he can buy breasts and even a whole chicken for less than he pays for wings. "So you can buy the whole chicken for 94 cents a pound and the chicken wing cost you almost two dollars a pound."