Chicken skin by itself, really isn’t that bad. It actually acts kind of like a latex glove- that holds all the juices and fat in the chicken while it is cooking. When the chicken is cooking, the fat that once was in the body of the bird now flows out of the meat and becomes trapped in the skin–it can’t exit the skin, but it also can’t go back into the meat. Hence, the skin of the chicken becomes saturated with fat.
Cooking chicken with the skin on helps keep the meat itself from absorbing oil, as long as the chicken is cooked at 350 degrees or higher. The heat draws moisture from inside the meat to the skin, where it forms a crust. This crust keeps the oil from seeping into the skin and the meat. Draining the chicken on paper towels when it’s done can help to remove any extra oil from the skin.
Typically, a 12-ounce bone-in, skin-on chicken breast half contains just 2.5 grams of saturated fat and 50 calories more than its similarly portioned skinless counterpart. You can splurge with skin-on chicken from time to time, as 55 percent of the fat in the chicken skin is actually monounsaturated (the good kind).
The fact that chicken skin is not quite as unhealthy as it was believed does not mean that you have to indulge in skin-on fried chicken every day. The extra calories in chicken can add up quickly. Also, the breading on fried chicken soaks up more oil than the skin itself does, and because it is made of refined flour, it will cause the same insulin response that all starchy foods cause. So exercise caution, eat it as a comfort food once in a while or remove the skin off before eating to reduce some calories.