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Cut to the Chase: The Nutrients in 4 Popular Cuts of Chicken

What do these 4 popular cuts of chicken have to offer? Let’s break it down and find out some of their nutritional benefits!

It’s well known that Americans eat a lot of chicken – over 97 pounds per person per year. Chicken has nutrition to offer for people of all ages and lifestyles, no matter the cut! Here are a few popular cuts of chicken and some nutrition facts that you may not have known.

1. Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breast

Chicken Builds Muscle

When you think of chicken, this is probably the first cut that you think of, and for good reason! Boneless, skinless, chicken breast is a lean, nutritious cut with an impressive protein punch. Per 3.5-ounce serving, roasted chicken breast provides 31 grams of protein, which is an essential nutrient for overall health. This cut is also a blank slate for an endless amount of culinary inspiration with health in mind.

2. Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Dark Meat

If you are looking for flavorful chicken, look no further than the dark meat! While the taste and texture of darker meat may appeal most to you, you could be surprised to know that this cut typically contains more vitamins and minerals than its white meat counterpart, including vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.

3. Chicken Thigh, Skin-On

Chicken Promotes Heart Health

You don’t always have to go skinless! When cooked, cuts of chicken with the skin may prove to be juicier with a better texture. Not only that, but for a 3.5-ounce portion of roasted, skin-on chicken thigh, there is a generous amount of both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, about 6 grams and 3 grams, respectively. These unsaturated fats in chicken may promote improved heart health.

4. Chicken Wing, Skin-On

It’s summertime, so you know that means firing up the grill to cook your favorite foods – wings included! While you may think of wings with hot sauce and blue cheese (or ranch- you be the judge), you can now add one more thing to that list – choline. Choline, an essential nutrient, is needed to regulate memory, mood, and promote brain development and function. 

This nutrient plays an important role throughout the lifespan, especially for women who are pregnant. A 3.5-ounce serving of roasted chicken wing, skin-on, provides a whopping 111 milligrams of choline. The average person needs 550 milligrams of choline per day, 450 milligrams for pregnant women.

Cut to the Chase: Which Cut is the Best for Me?

Each cut of chicken provides its own unique nutritional benefit with the same great texture, taste and culinary possibilities you know and love.

To summarize, compared to white meat, dark meat chicken tends to be less dry and more tender with cooking, and it typically offers a greater number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, zinc, and iron. That said, all cuts of chicken can fit in to a healthy eating pattern and varying the chicken cuts you eat can get you a variety of nutrients.

Feeling inspired to mix up your chicken cuts for a bigger nutrient bang for your buck? Check out Chicken Roost for some recipe inspiration using all the different cuts of chicken!