How Many Calories in a Chicken Leg: The Lowdown

Chicken legs are a favorite for many people who enjoy indulging in meat occasionally. It’s not just about the taste; chicken legs are also known for their nutritional values. If you’re watching your calorie intake, you might be concerned about the number of calories in a chicken leg. Here’s a lowdown on how many calories you’re taking in when you grab a chicken leg.

The Nutritional Value of Chicken Legs

At a glance, chicken legs are a good source of protein, which your body needs for building and repairing muscles, among other things. Here is the nutritional value of a 100-gram serving of chicken legs:

Nutrient Quantity
Calories 209
Protein 28g
Fat 10g
Carbohydrates 0.4g
Fiber 0g
Sodium 82mg
Cholesterol 119mg
Vitamin A 2% of the recommended daily value (DV)
Vitamin C 0% of the recommended DV
Iron 10% of the recommended DV

Calories in Chicken Legs with Skin and without Skin

The calorie count in chicken legs depends on whether you eat the skin or not. Chicken skin is known for its high fat content. Therefore, removing the skin might reduce the calorie count. A chicken leg without the skin has about 170 calories. On the other hand, a chicken leg with skin has about 220 calories. The calorie count could be slightly higher or lower depending on the cooking method and the size of the chicken leg.

Calories in Fried Chicken Legs

Fried chicken is delicious, but it’s not the healthiest form of meat. The batter and oil add up calories, making it an unhealthy option if you’re trying to watch your weight. A single fried chicken leg can have up to 300 calories, which is significantly higher than the 170-220 calories in a regular chicken leg. If you must indulge, it’s advisable to consume fried chicken moderately or to opt for grilled or cooked chicken legs, which have fewer calories.

Benefits of Chicken Legs

Chicken legs are not only about calories; they come with other benefits when consumed in moderation. Here are some benefits of eating chicken legs:

  • Good protein source: Chicken legs are an excellent protein source that provides nearly all the amino acids required for building and repairing muscles.
  • High in vitamins: Chicken legs are rich in vitamins such as vitamin A, B6, and B12, which are essential for various body functions like immune system function, enzymes, and brain development.
  • Good for bone and joint health: Chicken legs have collagen, which helps the body to maintain healthy tendons, ligaments, and bones.
  • Low in saturated fat: Chicken legs are low in saturated fat, which makes them a healthy choice of meat for people who want to manage their cholesterol levels.
  • Easily accessible: You can easily find chicken legs in supermarkets and butcher shops.

Calories in Different Parts of Chicken Legs

Chicken legs come in different parts, namely the drumstick and the thigh. Here’s an approximate calorie count in different parts of a chicken leg:

  • 1 chicken drumstick without skin: 80 calories
  • 1 chicken drumstick with skin: 120 calories
  • 1 chicken thigh without skin: 109 calories
  • 1 chicken thigh with skin: 209 calories
  • A whole chicken leg without skin: 170 calories
  • A whole chicken leg with skin: 220 calories

How to Reduce the Number of Calories in Chicken Legs

Here are some ways to reduce the number of calories in chicken legs without compromising the taste:

  • Remove chicken skin before cooking: As mentioned earlier, the calorie count varies depending on whether you eat the skin or not. Removing the skin before cooking can help you reduce your calorie intake.
  • Choose a healthy cooking method: Remove the deep fryer and opt for a healthier cooking method like grilling, baking, or broiling. These methods require less oil, which means reducing your calorie intake.
  • Use herbs and spices: Instead of using calorie-laden marinades, use herbs and spices to flavor your chicken legs. This will add flavor without adding calories.


Chicken legs are a delicious source of protein that comes with a range of essential nutrients when consumed in moderation. However, if you’re watching your calorie intake, it’s crucial to be mindful of what you consume. This article has given you a lowdown of the number of calories in chicken legs, the benefits, and tips on how to reduce calorie intake. With this information, you’ll be able to make an informed choice that suits your dietary needs.


Here are the answers to the most common questions related to how many calories in a chicken leg:

  • Q. What is the calorie count in a chicken leg without the skin?
  • A. A chicken leg without skin has about 170 calories.
  • Q. What is the calorie count in a chicken leg with the skin?
  • A. A chicken leg with skin has about 220 calories.
  • Q. How do I reduce the calorie count in chicken legs?
  • A. Removing chicken skin, using a healthy cooking method like grilling, and using herbs and spices instead of calorie-laden marinades are great ways to reduce calorie intake.
  • Q. Are fried chicken legs healthy?
  • A. Fried chicken legs are not healthy as the batter and oil contribute to the high calorie-count. It’s advisable to consume them moderately or opt for a healthier cooking method.
  • Q. What are the benefits of consuming chicken legs?
  • A. Chicken legs are a great source of protein, are high in vitamins, support bone and joint health, are low in saturated fat, and are easily accessible.


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