Chicken is a lean, protein-rich food that can be a nutritious addition to a healthy diet. When looking at the protein content of chicken, there are a few key factors to consider:
Cut of Chicken
Different cuts and parts of the chicken contain different amounts of protein. Chicken breast is one of the leanest and highest protein parts, while chicken thighs and legs are a bit fattier and contain slightly less protein.
Cooked vs Raw
The protein content is typically provided for cooked chicken, as this is how it is normally eaten. Raw chicken contains a bit more protein than cooked chicken. This is because some protein is lost during the cooking process as juices drip off and fat cooks out.
With or Without Skin
Chicken skin contains more fat than protein. Skinless chicken breast contains significantly more protein than chicken breast with the skin on. For example, a 100g serving of roasted chicken breast with skin provides around 26g protein, while an equivalent serving of skinless breast provides 31g protein.
Thin Sliced vs Other Cuts
Thin sliced chicken breasts are often cut from the same part of the chicken as other breast cuts. The protein content is affected more by whether the skin is removed or not. Thin sliced chicken breast with the skin on contains around 26g protein per 100g serving, similar to other chicken breast cuts. Skinless thin sliced breast contains around 31g protein per 100g serving.
In summary, a 100g serving, or about 3.5 ounces, of thin sliced, skinless chicken breast contains approximately 31 grams of protein. Thin sliced chicken breast with the skin on contains around 26 grams of protein per 100g serving. When comparing cooked, thin sliced chicken breast to other common cuts and preparations of chicken, the protein content is quite similar.
Detailed Nutrition Information
Here is more detailed protein and nutrition information for different types of chicken breast:
|Chicken Cut||Serving Size||Calories||Protein (g)|
|Skinless chicken breast||100g||165||31|
|Chicken breast with skin||100g||239||26|
|Skinless thin sliced chicken breast||100g||165||31|
|Thin sliced chicken breast with skin||100g||239||26|
As you can see from the table, thin sliced chicken breast has very similar protein content to regular chicken breast cuts. The key factor in protein content is whether the skin is removed or not. Skinless thin sliced breast contains around 31g protein per 100g, while thin sliced breast with the skin on contains around 26g protein.
Nutrition Benefits of Chicken
Chicken is considered one of the leanest sources of protein and is an excellent choice as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Here are some of the nutrition benefits of adding chicken to your diet:
High in Protein
As shown above, chicken is an excellent source of protein, providing around 26-31 grams per 100 gram serving. Protein plays key roles in building and repairing muscle tissue, supporting the immune system, and helping balance hormone levels.
Low in Fat
Compared to cuts of beef and pork, chicken is relatively low in fat, especially when the skin is removed. Lean chicken breast gets the majority of its calories from protein rather than fat grams.
Source of B Vitamins
Chicken contains a range of B vitamins including niacin, pyridoxine, and cobalamin. These B vitamins are important for converting food into energy and supporting nervous system function.
Chicken provides around 1/3 of your daily needs for selenium in a 100 gram serving. Selenium acts as an antioxidant, helps regulate thyroid function, and supports the immune system.
Good Source of Choline
A 100 gram serving of chicken provides around 117 mg of choline. This nutrient is involved in fat metabolism, brain and nervous system function, and muscle movement.
How to Get Enough Protein From Chicken
Chicken is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into meals and snacks in many ways. Here are some tips for getting enough protein from chicken:
Eat Multiple Servings Per Week
Health experts recommend getting around 50 grams of protein per day. Eating chicken at 2-3 meals provides an easy way to meet this target.
Add to Salads and Wraps
Chicken pairs well in salads and wraps. Top a salad with grilled chicken breast or add thin sliced chicken to a whole grain wrap.
Use in Soups and Chili
Shredded chicken works well in soups, stews, and chilis. Simmer diced chicken in broth based soups for an extra protein boost.
Snack on Chicken
Deli-style chicken breast slices make an easy high protein snack. You can also bake chicken into healthy homemade chicken nuggets.
Tips for Cooking Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts
Thin sliced chicken breasts cook faster than thicker chicken pieces. Here are some tips for cooking thin sliced chicken:
Sauté Over Medium-High Heat
Cook thin chicken slices in a skillet with a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until browned and 165°F.
Grill Over Direct Heat
Grill thin slices for just 2-4 minutes per side over direct heat. Brush with oil to keep moist.
Bake at 375°F
Arrange slices on a baking sheet and bake at 375°F for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Stir frying is a great way to cook thin chicken strips over high heat. Toss with your favorite veggies and sauce.
Since thin cuts cook quickly, be careful not to undercook them. Use a food thermometer to ensure they reach 165°F internally.
Healthy Meal Ideas With Thin Sliced Chicken
Here are some healthy meal ideas that incorporate thin sliced chicken breast:
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Combine diced chicken with celery, herbs, lemon juice, and touch of mayo. Serve on whole wheat bread.
Sauté chicken strips with bell peppers and onions. Wrap in tortillas with salsa and avocado.
Chicken Caesar Salad
Toss romaine lettuce with parmesan, croutons, and sliced grilled chicken breast.
Chicken Banh Mi
Put thinly sliced chicken, cucumbers, cilantro, and pickled daikon on a crusty Vietnamese baguette.
Top corn tortillas with chicken, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, and lime wedge.
Chicken Safety Tips
To safely enjoy thin sliced chicken and reduce risk of foodborne illness:
Keep fresh or cooked chicken refrigerated at 40°F or below. Freeze if not using within a few days.
Avoid Cross Contamination
Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw chicken. Do not let chicken juices contact other foods.
Cook to an internal temperature of 165°F. Check temperature in thickest part.
Refrigerate Leftovers Quickly
Refrigerate any cooked chicken within 2 hours. Do not leave at room temperature for more than 1 hour.
In summary, thin sliced chicken breast is an excellent source of protein, providing around 31 grams per 100 gram serving when skinless. It can be incorporated into a variety of healthy meals and snacks. Take care to cook thin slices thoroughly, store chicken safely, and practice good food safety habits to reduce risk of illness.