Finally! Chicken Fried Bacon – Chicken Fried in The Oven!
Learn how you can make this Texan treat, chicken fried bacon, without all the chicken fried guilt.
Ahhh…chicken fried bacon. Strips of fattening pork are dipped in glorious batter or breaded, then deep fried to an irresistible crisp. Diners usually dip them in luscious white cream or country gravy. Some people credit Frank Sodolak, of Sodolak’s Original Country Inn in Snook, Texas, for inventing this appetizer that should be eaten before the day of your death in the 90’s.
Speaking of death, eating it regularly can get you there faster. A lot of nutritionists scoff and sneer at that unhealthy starter of a meal because it’s loaded with saturated fat (and trans, if the restaurant that serves it has some hydrogenated oil to fry those strips in). Even Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Jane Hurley said, “They’ve (the chefs) taken fat, they’ve double-coated it in fat, they’ve fried it in more fat, and then served it with a side order of fat.” All that meaty, fatty descriptions of the dish would make those of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) scream.
A diet high in saturated fat, can lead you to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and what not. For men, having that can lead to lower sperm count, according to a study.
Here’s the real, fattening, sat fat-laden deal, my pals! Try a healthier version by breading and baking healthier bacon instead!
So what’s a weight-conscious person to do when tempted by that crunchy, salty creation? You can’t just eliminate it from your diet, right? Nutrition experts say that you should bake something usually deep fried rather than the traditional method. Wish no more for a version that would follow that advice, my friends – here’s a healthy recipe that imitates the real thing, with noticeable tweaks in the cooking method.
1 lb turkey (or veggie) bacon, cut in half
1 cup cholesterol-free egg product or egg substitute (I tested it with Egg Beaters)
1 cup of evaporated skim milk, dairy milk substitute (soy or rice milk), or fat-free half-and-half
1 cup whole-wheat flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk egg substitute with milk in one bowl. Next, combine flour with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Dip bacon, one piece at a time, into the egg substitute mixture, then the flour mixture. Place bacon on a single layer, with no overlapping, on a baking sheet. (For crispier bacon, place them on a rack over the sheet lined with foil.
Bake for 18-22 minutes until golden brown, rotating pan halfway through baking.
The possibilities for dipping those strips are endless – almost endless because you have to decide which dips are healthier. I recommend dipping them into vinegar – it’s flavorful, nonfat, and perfect for that dish! Japanese researchers found that eating vinegar can turn on genes that burn fat.
If you really miss the creaminess of the gravy, you can make a low-fat version or dip it into any thickness nonfat yogurt. (I prefer the latter, and it adds flavor, calcium, and vitamin D!)
What’s the difference between this version of a Texan cuisine staple and the real deal? The latter has a lot less fat (vitamin G, as in grease), a lot less calories, a lot less cholesterol (or none, if you make the vegan version), and added fiber (because the breading is whole wheat flour). If you nix the salt, that dish has a lot less sodium!
Don’t let the temptation of deep-fried, breaded bacon go in the way of your efforts to look good in vacation pictures. Try doing this recipe whenever it hits you so you can enjoy it with close-to-none of the guilt.
This recipe serves six.