Fried Chicken > How many calories are in fried chicken

How Many Calories Are In Fried Chicken?

Fried chicken is a staple of Southern cooking and beloved by many for its crispy, juicy texture and savory flavor. But with its heavy breading and frying in oil, it’s also a dish that’s high in calories and fat. So just how many calories are in that piece of fried chicken? Let’s take a closer look.

How Many Calories Are In Fried Chicken?

The number of calories in fried chicken can vary quite a bit depending on the specific cut of chicken, whether the skin is left on or removed, the style of breading used, the cooking method, and the size of the portion.

A skinless, boneless fried chicken breast contains approximately 140-180 calories depending on the thickness. With the skin left on, that jumps up to around 170-220 calories.

Chicken thighs with the bone and skin intact have about 190-260 calories per thigh. Drumsticks range from 150-200 calories each.

Wings are the lowest calorie option, with around 90-120 calories for a small wing.

Southern-style fried chicken coated in a seasoned flour mixture adds roughly 150+ calories over plain fried chicken. Using cornflake crumbs or panko makes it even higher in calories.

Frying adds a significant amount of fat and calories versus other cooking methods like baking or grilling. Deep frying adds the most, while air frying adds slightly less due to using less oil.

Related post: How many fried chicken wings in a pound?

The portion size also greatly affects the calorie count. A single piece of fried chicken may be 2-3 servings. Eating multiple pieces or an entire bucket of fried chicken can add up to thousands of calories.

In summary, a reasonably sized 3-4 ounce piece of fried chicken with the skin on will generally contain 190-260 calories and 12-18 grams of fat. Enjoy fried chicken in moderation as the high calorie count can quickly add up when consuming larger

Calories in Fried Chicken Per Piece

The calorie count of fried chicken can vary considerably depending on the cut of chicken, breading style, cooking method, and portion size. Here are some general guidelines for common fried chicken pieces:

    • Fried chicken breast (boneless, skinless): 140-180 calories
    • Fried chicken thigh (with bone, skin on): 190-260 calories
    • Fried chicken drumstick (with bone, skin on): 150-200 calories
    • Fried chicken wing (with bone, skin on): 90-120 calories

So a typical plate with a thigh, breast, drumstick and wing could total around 600-700 calories. The skin and breading contribute significant calories, increasing the count by 30% or more over grilled chicken.

Factors That Affect Fried Chicken Calories

Several factors account for the wide calorie ranges for fried chicken:

    • Breading – Traditional Southern-style fried chicken is dredged in a seasoned flour mixture that adds 150 or more calories per serving compared to plain fried chicken. Using panko or cornflakes adds even more calories.
    • Frying Oil – Frying chicken in oil adds a significant amount of fat and calories. Using lard or shortening instead of vegetable oil can increase the calorie count.
    • Portion Size – Many restaurants serve large pieces of fried chicken that are 2-3 servings. Consuming multiple pieces or an entire bucket significantly boosts your calorie intake.
    • Cooking Method – Pan frying, deep frying and air frying all add varying amounts of oil and affect the final calorie totals. Air frying uses the least amount of added fat.
    • Extras – Sauces and spreads like honey mustard and creamy ranch add extra calories on top of the fried chicken.

What is the serving size for fried chicken?

The recommended serving size for fried chicken is 3-4 ounces. This provides around 190-260 calories and 12-18g of fat for chicken on the bone with skin. A serving of boneless, skinless fried chicken is 3-4 ounces for 140-180 calories.

So, How many calories are in fried chicken?

The calorie count of fried chicken ranges from 90 calories for a small wing up to 260 calories for a thigh. An average drumstick or thigh with skin has about 190-220 calories. Boneless, skinless breasts have 140-180 calories. The cooking method, batter, and portion size affect the totals.

How many calories are in one fried chicken?

A single piece of fried chicken can range from 90 calories for a small wing up to 260 calories for a large chicken thigh. An average sized thigh or drumstick with the skin on will contain about 190-220 calories.

Is fried chicken high calorie?

Yes, fried chicken is considered a high calorie food. Even boneless, skinless fried chicken contains more calories than grilled or baked chicken. The oil, batter and skin add a significant amount of extra fat and calories. A 3-4 oz serving often has over 200 calories and 12+ grams of fat.

How many calories are in 2 pieces of fried chicken breast?

For 2 average sized boneless, skinless fried chicken breasts, expect approximately 300-350 calories total. Leaving the skin on boosts the calorie count to 400-450 calories for the 2 pieces.

Is fried chicken bad when trying to lose weight?

Fried chicken is generally not ideal for weight loss. The high calorie and fat content make it easy to overeat. The sodium and saturated fat can also cause bloating and water retention.

Limiting fried foods, watching portion sizes, and choosing lower calorie cooking methods like grilling and baking are better options when trying to lose weight. An occasional small serving of fried chicken can be worked into a healthy diet in moderation.

How many calories in a small fried chicken breast?

A boneless, skinless fried chicken breast that is around 4-5 ounces contains roughly 140-170 calories. Leaving the skin on would add around 40 more calories for a total of 180-210 calories in a small fried chicken breast.

Does fried chicken contain sugar?

Fried chicken does not naturally contain added sugars. However, the batter or breading used to coat the chicken before frying often contains sugar. Common ingredients like honey, brown sugar, and powdered sugar add sweetness and browning to fried chicken batter. So the coating does add small amounts of sugar.


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