What Are the Healthiest Parts of a Chicken?

a whole roasted chicken

Chicken is one of the most versatile meats and is one of the most commonly reared and eaten types of domesticated fowl in the world. With multiple types of cuts of dark and white meat, you can make an assortment of healthy and delicious meals. But what are those types of cuts and how much protein do they pack?

This article will discuss the answers to questions like how many calories in a chicken breast, the difference between thigh meat and breast meat, chicken wings nutrition facts, and how many calories in a chicken drumstick. 

The Four Most Popular Parts of Chicken Meat

An individual can prepare an entire chicken for consumption. A roasted chicken is the main portion of many holiday meals, as it offers a variety of cuts and white and dark meats. But what parts of a chicken make up the core cutes of this delicious poultry? 

There are four main parts of chicken meat we will discuss in this article: 

  1. Breast 
  2. Thigh 
  3. Wing
  4. Drumstick 

That being said, some cultures eat all parts of the chicken, not just the meat- such as the beak or the feet. However, this article will delve into the four main meat portions of a chicken and each of their nutrition values for a fully grown adult. 

Chicken Breast 

The breast is one of the most versatile cuts of meat on a chicken. Considered lean, white meat, the chicken breast is found on the underside of the chicken, from the pectoral muscles. The breast consists of two halves, which are generally sold separately in stores and when consumed in restaurant dishes. 

Since boneless, skinless chicken breast offers some of the best health benefits from poultry, it is typically the most expensive portion of meat found at grocery stores. Individuals and restaurants can prepare chicken breast in various ways, including grilling, baking, boiling, frying, and barbecuing. 

How many calories in a chicken breast?

So what is the nutritional value of this part of the chicken? Well, chicken breast calories are approximately 290 calories for one serving or about 100 grams. Around 80% of these calories come from the protein portion of the meat. Chicken breast calories are fewer in number than other parts of the chicken, with one of the highest portions of protein. For that reason, many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts eat a large amount of chicken breast as part of a healthy and protein-focused diet. 

Chicken Thigh 

Chicken thighs are known as the dark meat of a chicken and are found on the upper portion of the leg, above the knee joint. The thighs offer an affordable cut of meat and can be bought as boneless chicken thighs or bone-in chicken thighs. Depending on if the bone is still intact, the cooking time and preparation steps will differ. 

Many of the same recipes individuals and restaurants use for chicken breasts, can be used for chicken thighs. Chicken thighs offer a juicer and fattier cut of meat over other parts of a chicken, making it harder to overcook this section. Therefore, when preparing chicken thighs for a meal, you can barbecue, smoke, fry, or grill thighs. 

Where is the thigh on the chicken?

Chicken thighs are found on the chicken legs. The leg of the chicken is actually divided into two cuts- the thighs and the drumsticks. The thighs are the upper portion of the leg and the drumsticks are the bottom portion. 

Chicken thigh vs breast

There are a few main differences between chicken thighs and chicken breasts. First, thighs tend to be fattier than the breast, meaning they are more juicy and flavorful. Thigh meat is considered dark meat while breast meat is the white meat of the chicken. In addition, chicken thighs are generally cheaper to buy in grocery stores than breast meat. 

Chicken thigh nutritional information 

Chicken thighs are surprisingly more healthy than most people think. Although they don’t pack the same kind of protein punch as chicken breasts, the thighs are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. In addition, skinless chicken thighs contain approximately 170 calories per serving.¬†

At Mary Brown’s, our chicken restaurant offers consumers both thigh meals and side breast meals, with similar nutritional values. For example, the thigh meal, with skin on and small fries sits at 620 calories, while a side breast meal with skin and small fries comes to about 583 calories. 

Chicken Wings

The chicken wings are the smallest section of meat on poultry and they are considered white meat. There are two wings to a chicken, and the wings are divided into three parts- the wingette, the drumette, and the wingtip. The wing tip is the uppermost part of the wing and is generally thrown away and not eaten. The drumette looks like a smaller version of a drumstick, while the wingette is the flat section in the middle area- both of which are consumed. 

Chicken wings nutrition facts

Since chicken wings do not have the same source of meat as thighs, they are generally prepared as bar food, whether as appetizers or in large numbers as a main course. They are also mostly fried or baked when prepared by restaurants, making them a less healthy option for the parts of chicken meat. 

When prepared without any extra bread crumbs or mixtures, the nutritional value of chicken wings comes to around 200 calories for one portion or about 100 grams. However, when prepared in large numbers with coatings and mixtures, as they do at bars and restaurants, your caloric intake will greatly increase. 

Chicken Drumstick 

Like chicken thighs, the drumsticks are also found on the leg of the chicken. Drumsticks are the bottom section of the leg, below the knee joint. Chicken drumsticks are sold with the skin on, and bone-in. They consist of dark meat and are fattier than most other parts of a chicken, but are packed with flavour, making them perfect for roasting and grilling. 

How many calories in a chicken drumstick 

Chicken drumsticks calories sit around 180 calories per 100-gram portion. There are a number of vitamins and minerals in drumsticks, like niacin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, selenium, and zinc. Even though the chicken drumsticks’ calories might be higher than other cuts of poultry, they provide an assortment of necessary nutrients.


If this article has got you in the mood for a delicious chicken meal, then look no further than Mary Brown’s! With our signature chicken meal, you can enjoy crispy and juicy chicken at a great price and without overdoing the chicken breast calories. Find a location near you today! 

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