The Healthy Cook’s Guide to Chicken Skins
Our readers love skinless, boneless chicken breasts because they're both quick-cooking and lean. The CL Kitchen, however, finds that when you cook the meat with the skin on, you end up with a juicier piece of chicken. The skin collects fat. But how much fat does it add?
To find out, we tested three pans of seared, roasted chicken breasts. One pan was cooked without the skin. One pan was cooked with the skin, which was then removed after cooking before analysis. The third pan was seared and analyzed with the skin on.
The results left us amazed—to the point that we double-checked our samples for mislabeling. The pan of chicken seared with the skin on, then removed, had the least amount of fat, less than the skinless, boneless chicken breast by about 0.3g fat per 3.5 ounces. As expected, the breast that was seared and analyzed with the skin on had double the fat—6.6g per 3.5 ounces.
Wait, what? Roasting chicken with the skin on (and then removing the skin after cooking) helps trap all those tasty, natural juices inside, leaving you with a moist, tender chicken breast that has less fat than a roasted skinless, boneless breast. But how? While roasting, the fat in the breast flows out and gets trapped in the skin. When the skin is removed after roasting, you are left with a leaner piece of meat that is more tender and more tasty than if it were roasted without the skin.
The Takeaway: Cook chicken in its skin to retain all those natural juices. Once it's cooked, remove the skin and enjoy your leaner, juicier breast of tender, tasty chicken.
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