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Chicken bacon is a thin strip of meat made from chicken. It contrasts with traditional bacon, which is made from pork. Chicken bacon can be substituted for traditional bacon in recipes or can be eaten as a stand-alone dish.
The main benefit of chicken bacon is that it contains less fat and fewer calories than traditional bacon. It might also be higher in protein per strip because there is less fat and more meat. Additionally, it might require less salt to cure, so it could be lower in sodium. This makes it a good choice for people who are sticking to low-fat or low-salt diets.
In addition to the nutritional benefits, chicken bacon offers an alternative for people who do not eat traditional bacon for religious or personal reasons. Several religions disallow the consumption of pork on the grounds that it is an unclean meat. There are also people who simply do not eat pork because of the diet that most pigs eat. A bacon product made from another meat solves the problem for both groups of people, though it is important to note that even chicken bacon may not be considered kosher.
Having an alternative to pork bacon makes many favorite dishes available to dieters and those who don't eat pork. Bacon is often paired with eggs at breakfast time and is a key component in many sandwich favorites, including the BLT and the club sandwich. Bacon-wrapped fillet mignon is a popular main course as well.
Bacon is also frequently used to make hors d'oeuvres. Shrimp, scallops, and asparagus spears are just a few of the foods often wrapped with bacon to create party fare. Bacon also is used to season soups and sauces as well. Substituting chicken bacon in any of these recipes can reduce the calories, cholesterol, and fat content of the dish significantly.
Chefs often point out that this substitution can also decrease the flavor of the dish. Chicken bacon can be drier than its pork counterpart because of the reduced fat content. The texture is distinctly different as well, as the chicken version lacks the fat marbling of pork bacon.
Chicken bacon is cooked using roughly the same methods as pork bacon. It can be either pan-fried or microwaved. The chicken variety may be more prone to overcooking than the pork variety, again due to the lack of fat. It might also be more likely to stick to the pan or burn. It can be difficult to get the chicken variety truly crisp as well, and consequently may be more difficult to crumble.