Chicken fried bacon

Chicken fried bacon
Chicken fried bacon
Chicken Fried Bacon.jpg
Chicken fried bacon with cream gravy from Sodolak's Original Country Inn in Snook, Texas
Place of origin USA
Region or state Texas
Creator(s) Frank Sodolak
Dish details
Course served Dinner
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredient(s) Bacon, batter dip
Variations With gravy

Chicken fried bacon consists of bacon strips dredged in batter and deep fried, like chicken fried steak. It is an American dish that was introduced in Texas in the early 1990s.[1] Frank Sodolak of Sodolak's Original Country Inn in Snook, Texas, is credited as having invented the food.[1]

Chicken fried bacon has been gaining in popularity[citation needed] as it is featured in popular YouTube videos, a book of Texas curiosities, and an increasing number of restaurant menus. It is usually served as an appetizer with a white "country" or cream gravy for dipping and sauce.



Homemade chicken fried bacon frying in a pan

Sodolak's dish acquired enough of a reputation to be featured in Texas comedian John Kelso's Texas Curiosities. The entry states that "Things are not only bigger in Texas, they're greasier" and that "it's hard to imagine a more artery-clogging food."[2]

Sodolak serves six strips of bacon, battered and fried, with a bowl of cream gravy.[2] He and his restaurant[3] were featured on a Texas Country Reporter episode; the web video has been watched hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube.[4]

Versions of dish

Uncooked bacon, ready to dip and fry

Chicken fried bacon made by Glen Kusak of south Texas won the Big Tex Choice Award for Best Taste in the 2008 State Fair of Texas in Dallas.[5][6] In recent years, the dish has made its way across America and it is served in Chicago at the Risque Cafe in Lake View.[7] The Risque Cafe's version of "country-fried bacon" is served with white gravy and sells for $6.[7] It is prepared using an egg wash, dredged in heavily peppered flour and deep fried in vegetable oil.[7] The café's chef, Andrew Niemeyer, said he "played around with the idea" while a student of the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (he graduated in 2005) and did not mention that he was retracing ground pioneered years before in Texas.

Sodolak's YouTube video inspired others to copy the recipe, such as Don Yovicsin of Jake's Dixie Roadhouse, Waltham, Massachusetts. Alerted by a customer, he quickly made his own version, which he jokes is served "with a Lipitor I.V." and sells for $6.95 (Yovicsin serves only four strips of bacon).[8]

Health issues

Since the dish is rich in saturated fat, those health experts that favor low-fat diets suggest consuming it in moderation or not at all.[9] Sally Squires of the Washington Post acknowledged chicken fried bacon's appeal to the palate, but suggests moderation.[9] Other experts note the dish's low nutritional benefits: "They've taken fat, they've double-coated it in fat, they've fried it in more fat, and then they've served it with a side order of fat."[2] Jane Hurley, senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C., stated she's "never heard of anything worse."[2]

While critics of the dish denounce its blatant negative health effects, lovers of the food speak as passionately about its qualities:

The moment when the crackle of the crust gives way to the fatty, salty taste of the pork is truly transcendent.[10]
That clogs arteries just to hear it, but it's to die for . . . It just melts in your mouth.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b Kelso, John (January 16, 1999). "Would you like double grease with that?". South Coast Today. Retrieved February 9, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Kelso, John (2006). Texas Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff. Globe Pequot. p. 158. ISBN 9780762741090. 
  3. ^ The Austin American-Statesman reported that the restaurant burned down in February 2001 (possibly as the result of a grease fire) to the dismay of chicken fried bacon lovers; it was to be re-opened in mid-July. Kelso, John (2001-06-08). "Grease: It's not just a food, it's a way of life". Austin American-Statesman. p. B1. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  4. ^ Phillips, Bob (2006-10-19). "Chicken Fried Bacon". Texas Country. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  5. ^ Meyers, Jessica (2008-09-02). "Chicken Fried Bacon? State Fair of Texas reveals winning fried foods". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  6. ^ "Winners named in Big Tex Choice Awards" (Press release). 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  7. ^ a b c Donovan, Lisa (2008-11-05). "Does bacon get any better than this?". Chicago Sun-Times.,FOO-News-det05.article. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  8. ^ Tzarev, Zara (2007-06-23). "Bacon Bits". The Boston Globe. 
  9. ^ a b Response to "Guilty in Virginia," in Squires, Sally (2001-12-27). "The Lean Plate Club". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  10. ^ "Grease: most of us were practically weaned on chicken-fried steak, but why limit yourself to a tough cut of meat when there's a brave new world of cowboy cooking out there? Please pass the chicken-fried bacon. And lobster. And foie gras. And ...". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  11. ^ Dinah Covert, chairman of the San Antonio Go Western Gala, quoted in Goodspeed, John (2009-01-14). "Gala means rodeo on horizon". My San Antonio. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 

External links

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