Calorie and Nutrition Facts for Different Parts of a Chicken

Chicken leg

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Most people assume that chicken is healthy, but the nutritional content of chicken depends on how the poultry is prepared and which part of the bird you eat.

Here you'll find nutrition facts for different parts of a chicken, plus information on its health benefits and drawbacks so you can learn how to include healthy chicken recipes in your diet.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one chicken leg with the bone removed (114g)

  • Calories: 264
  • Fat: 15.3g
  • Sodium: 99mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 29.6g

Rotisserie chicken is a convenient go-to meal solution for many busy shoppers. But have you ever checked rotisserie chicken calories? The number may be higher than you expect. A single serving provides 160 calories, and that's if you only eat three ounces. Many people eat a much larger helping.

In addition, depending on the ingredients used during preparation, you may be consuming more fat and sodium than you need. Butter is often used in the preparation of the poultry which boosts the fat and calories of the bird and salt is usually added for flavor. These additions boost the fat and calories of the bird.

Chicken skin is another source of fat and calories. According to the USDA, a single ounce of roasted chicken skin (without the meat) provides 128 calories and 11 grams of fat. If you want to reduce the calories in rotisserie chicken, simply peel off the butter- and salt-flavored skin before eating.

Nutrition Facts for Different Parts of a Chicken

Does the nutritional content change when you eat different part of the bird? Yes, it does. Chicken breast is usually the healthiest choice. Here's how the nutritional content of various chicken parts compare according to USDA data.

  • One medium, baked chicken thigh without skin provides 90 calories, 13 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, and 233 milligrams of sodium.
  • One medium, baked chicken thigh with skin provides 140 calories, 14 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate, 9 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 4 grams of monounsaturated fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and 275 milligrams of sodium.
  • One medium, baked chicken drumstick without skin provides 66 calories, 11 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, and 206 milligrams of sodium.
  • One medium, baked chicken drumstick with skin provides 97 calories, 12 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, and 241 milligrams of sodium.
  • One medium, baked chicken wing without skin provides 42 calories, 6 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and 87 milligrams of sodium.
  • One medium, baked chicken wing with skin provides 86 calories, 8 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, and 143 milligrams of sodium.

Keep in mind that chicken wings are often prepared buffalo-style or with other flavorings that can add calories, fat, and sodium.

Health Benefits of Eating Chicken

Chicken can be an excellent source of low-fat protein. Chicken is also a very good source of selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin. Depending on the cooking method you choose, chicken can also be low in sodium.

If you use a smart preparation method without added fat or salty seasoning, eating chicken will benefit your healthy eating program. Since chicken is so versatile, there are countless ways to prepare it to add to salads, sandwiches, and soups, and can make your meals more nutritious.

How to Safely Prepare and Store Chicken

You can purchase chicken parts that are pre-trimmed, prepackaged, and ready to use. For many cooks, choosing these convenient packs makes cooking healthy meals simpler. The leanest choice is boneless, skinless chicken breast. The most economical choice is usually buying the whole bird and using all of the chicken parts.

When you cook chicken, be sure that you cook the poultry to the proper internal temperature for food safety purposes. Most chicken can be baked in the oven at about 375 degrees Fahrenheit until it reaches the appropriate temperature, which according to The Food Safety and Inspection Service is a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Manufacturers recommend that you use a meat thermometer to test the temperature of chicken. You should place the thermometer in a thick part of the meat, making sure that it does not touch bone.

  • A whole roasted chicken should reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Drumsticks, thighs, legs and wings should also reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Boneless chicken should reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit

Be sure to thoroughly clean any surfaces where you prepared raw chicken, including boards and knives. Most experts also recommend that you use plastic cutting boards to prepare chicken because they can be placed in the dishwasher and cleaned at a higher temperature 

Got chicken leftovers? Chicken should be kept in the refrigerator. in a sealed container. Chicken can also be frozen for up to nine months.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Chicken

The way you prepare chicken can add hundreds of calories to your meal. So if you are trying to reach or maintain a healthy weight, it's worth it to find a healthy way to cook chicken.

Roasting, broiling, or boiling the breast are generally the healthiest preparation methods. Frying or sautéing the meat in butter or oil will add substantial fat and calories. Breading or coating the chicken in flour and other ingredients will also boost the carbohydrate count.

Lastly, consider what condiments you add to your chicken when you plan your healthy meals. Adding popular chicken condiments like barbecue sauce, olive oil, or dipping sauces, while delicious, will boost your calorie and fat intake.

Healthy Chicken Recipes

If you want to explore new ways to prepare chicken, try these recipes.

You can also prepare healthy meals in advance using chicken. A week's worth of healthy meals takes just an hour or so to prepare and can save you many hours of time and hassle during the week. 

Was this page helpful?
2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. United States Department of Agriculture. Chicken & Turkey Nutrition Facts. Published September 2011.

  2. Food Safety and Inspection Service. Safe Minimum Cooking Temperature Charts. Reviewed April 12, 2019.