Chicken vs. salmon: Which is your favorite food? They are an integral part of countless meals around the world, so it can be hard to answer the question, “Which is better?”. If you are also in this problem, this article will be good for you.
With this post, you will have a specific comparison between 2 popular foods. In addition, this article also includes amazing information about the health benefits of chicken and salmon. Keep scrolling down to explore everything!
Basic Information About Chicken
Chicken is the best-loved poultry meat of many people worldwide because of its amazing flavor and texture. It is a versatile meat, so they can prepare many delicious foods with chicken, such as deep-fried, roasted, grilled, barbecued, or pan-fried chicken.
In terms of nutritional value, this meat is high in protein and low in fat, so it is considered a healthier option than beef or pork. In addition, chicken is a rich source of vitamin B and phosphorus, which are good for the nervous system and bone health (1) .
Let’s check out some exciting facts about chicken.
Free-Range Vs. Farm-Raised Chicken
Most people will choose to enjoy free-range chicken more than the farm-raised one because the taste, texture, and quality of free-range meat is better than farm-raised chicken. As a result, the price of free-range is higher than farm-raised chicken.
This results from the differences in food and environment. Normally, farm-raised chicken is raised in a chicken coop or a tight space and fed with grains, while free-range chicken lives in a natural environment that allows them to walk and exercise more often.
Therefore, free-range chicken has many muscles that make this meat leaner and more delicious than farm-raised chicken. Also, free-range chicken is healthier than farm-raised one since it is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Types Of Chicken Cuts
There are many types of chicken cuts, but the following four are the most popular. Having a good knowledge of them will be great if you want to prepare a healthy and nutritious meal.
This cut is located underneath the neck of the chicken. This lean part does not contain carbs and has a low amount of fat, so it is an ideal choice for the weight loss diet of many people.
This cut is the most commonly used one, appearing in many mainstream recipes with chicken. Chicken breasts without skin and bones are the most expensive and popular cuts.
When you want to make buffalo drumsticks or baked chicken drumsticks, the lower leg section of the chicken is an indispensable ingredient. It is a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Despite the impressive nutritional value, its prices are low compared to other cuts.
Chicken wings are versatile and delicious parts because you can bake, grill, smoke, and fry them to create delicious and high-nutritious dishes. Chicken wings come in 3 types, including whole wings, flats (wingettes), and drumettes.
Chicken thighs are one of the best-loved cuts of many people since they are so flavorful and juicy. Chicken thighs are dark meat from the upper leg of a chicken. You can choose boneless or bone-in versions to make yummy braised, fried, or grilled dishes.
Overview Of Salmon – “Chicken Of The Sea”
Salmon is one of the most common fish in the United States and other nations worldwide. It is a member of the Salmonidae family.
You’ll fall in love with the buttery and rich flavor of this juicy fish. There are many ways to prepare the pinkish or orange salmon filets, such as grilling, steaming, pan-frying, or baking. Also, you can eat sushi and sashimi to enjoy the natural taste of raw salmon.
Salmon is a high-nutritious food that contains a high amount of fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming salmon is a great way to improve the health of the brain, skin, and heart (2).
Explore the great benefits of consuming salmon every day.
Wild-Caught Vs. Farm-Raised Salmon
Wild-caught and farm-raised salmon: Which is tastier and healthier? Do you know the answer? Let’s check it out!
Wild-caught salmon live commonly in the natural environment, like rivers, dams, streams, or oceans. Meanwhile, farm-raised salmon usually come from fish farms.
In terms of flavor, farm-raised salmon tastes milder than wild-caught fish because the latter boasts a more pronounced fish taste. Furthermore, farm-raised salmon are softer and more delicate than salmon living in the ocean or rivers.
Both wild-caught and farm-raised salmon are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, the amount of these polyunsaturated fats in the farm fish is lower than the wild one, while its calorie count is higher.
Most importantly, farm-raised salmon can be less safe to eat than wild one because it possibly contains more contaminants (from fish meal, environmental pollution, etc.)
Still, improvements in fish farms that make them more sustainable have increased the appeal of farm salmon to chefs and consumers alike. After all, farm-raised salmon is always cheaper than its wild brethren.
Popular Types Of Salmon
Salmon is diverse in types that appear in different water areas worldwide. Here are some common sorts of salmon you need to know.
You can find Atlantic salmon in the Atlantic Ocean and in many rivers in Europe and North America. This salmon has a brownish and reddish color when living in the rivers and turns to a bright silver hue when moving to the sea.
It has black spots on its back and the upper halves of the grill plates. Regarding nutrition, Atlantic salmon is rich in protein, fatty acids, and many vitamins. This fish is very popular and fairly affordable.
This is the smallest salmon in the world and is also known as “humpback salmon” or “humpy”. Its silver hue changes to dull gray or white when the fish moves from saltwater to freshwater. Also, there are some black spots on its back.
This type of salmon lives in coastal seas around the Pacific Ocean. Outside North America, you can easily find it in Korea and Japan.
Its mild flavor and tender texture are suitable for making fresh and delicious sushi. Eating pink salmon is a great way to add protein, vitamin B12, D, niacin, and fat to your body.
Coho salmon is one type of Pacific salmon. It features silver flanks and blueish backs. When the fish moves to the freshwater, its sides and head turn to deep-red and green hues. Like other types, there are some black spots on its back as well.
Indeed, coho salmon’s flavor is similar to the king salmon but milder. In terms of nutrition, coho salmon’s fat content is medium, while protein and vitamin content is super rich.
Chinook or king salmon is the most delicious salmon worldwide (and also the most expensive variety). The buttery, silky, and lightly meaty flavor of chinook salmon will give you a pleasant mouthfeel when you consume its flesh.
In the North American Pacific, this salmon appears commonly from Alaska to southern California. Also, you can see this salmon in the western Pacific, the Arctic Ocean, and the Siberian Sea.
Among types of salmon, sockeye has the strongest flavor that is similar to crab. In addition, it is the firmest type of salmon. You can use this type of delicious salmon to make baked, grilled, or smoked dishes.
The difference between this species’ appearance to other types of salmon is the lack of dark spots on its back, tail, or halve. Like other Pacific salmon, it lives commonly in the North American Pacific and western Pacific. Though a little more expensive than Atlantic salmon, it is still very affordable.
Insight Into The Disparities Between Chicken And Salmon
It’s time to come to a detailed comparison between salmon and chicken. Keep reading to discover the differences between the two protein-rich foods that you thought you knew.. But check out this table for some basic information first.
|Texture||Raw chicken is tender and slightly rubbery. Cooked chicken is firm and a litter dryer than cooked salmon||Raw salmon is smooth and chewy Cooked salmon is soft and flaky|
|Flavor||Mild-flavored fish with a rich and oily flavor||Meaty yet mild and bland|
|Appearance||Pinkish color, almost white and yellow||Pink, red, and orange hues for raw salmon; Pale pink when the fish is cooked|
|Cooking Uses||Multiple uses, like grilling, roasting, baking, etc., but you cannot consume raw chicken||Can be roasted, grilled, baked, or pan-fried. Suitable for raw consumption|
|Affordability||Less expensive||More expensive|
Raw chicken: 1 to 2 days in the fridge and 9 to 12 months in the freezer
Cooked chicken: 3 to 4 days in the fridge and up to 4 to 6 months in the freezer
Raw salmon: 1 to 2 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer (for the best quality)
Cooked salmon: 3 to 4 days in the fridge and 4 to 6 months in the freezer
|Mercury Levels||Low content of mercury||No mercury|
|Nutrition||Higher in cholesterol, protein, and saturated fat||Higher in omega-3, omega-6, vitamin A, vitamin D, and calories|
Typically, fresh chicken is tender and glossy. Its softness changes according to which part you’re talking about. For example, chicken legs and thighs have a considerable amount of fat, so they are often juicier than chicken breasts. Anyway, cooking will firm up this meat.
If you are searching for lean chicken, free-range chicken is a wonderful choice since it has more muscles and fewer fats.
By contrast, raw salmon features a smooth and buttery texture. Still, you can feel a light chewiness when consuming raw salmon. Generally, it is less stringy and rubbery than chicken. Also, wild-caught salmon is more tender than farm-raised one.
Like chicken, cooked salmon is quite firm. But it is also flaky, meaning that the flesh can come apart easily along the white lines running across the filet.
Normally, raw salmon has a signature mild-flavored goodness with an oily and rich taste. Cooked salmon’s flavor varies, depending on how it is cooked. Whether you grill, bake, or poach the fish, its buttery and gamey flavor is always pronounced.
But different salmon varieties come with different flavors. For instance, red salmon tastes more flavorful and richer than other types, but its fishy scent may be a little overwhelming for some people.
Meanwhile, chum salmon has a milder flavor. King salmon, the priciest variety, is unsurprisingly the most delicious salmon species, with a nice balance of fattiness and meaty sweetness.
The flavor of chicken is meaty and mild. When you try chicken, pork, and beef, you may find chicken blander than the other 2 types of meat. People often add seasonings and various sauces to enhance chicken’s flavor.
You can recognize salmon thanks to their typical pinkish, orange, or red color. The fish will get lighter hues when it gets cooked, like pale pink.
Unlike the natural pink color of wild salmon that comes from the astaxanthin compounds in their food (consisting of shrimp and krill), farm-raised salmon have a gray hue with a bit of pink color. They mainly eat fish feed and fish oil, hence the lack of vibrant color.
Very pale pink, blueish-white, and yellow are common colors of chicken. You can find some fatty, white spots on the surface of the chicken. The poultry will turn from pink to white hue when it is cooked. Therefore, don’t consume cooked chicken with a pink hue, as it is undercooked.
Both salmon and chicken are versatile foods since you can use many cooking methods to create delicious dishes from the two foods. However, while you can consume raw salmon, it’s not recommended to eat chicken this way.
Delicious sushi and sashimi are some terrific options to bring out the natural flavor of chicken. Typically, people often use red salmon for these delicacies. Meanwhile, pink salmon is more suitable for roasting and frying.
If you have Atlantic salmon in your kitchen, you can make yummy oven-baked, grilled, seared, or pan-fried dishes from this fish.
There are many ways to cook chicken, such as roasting, grilling, frying, baking, or braising, depending on the different parts of the chicken. Of course, as I mentioned, you shouldn’t eat raw chicken since it can harm your health.
As you can see, the prices of salmon are diverse, depending on different types of salmon. The same thing goes for different parts of chicken as well. However, salmon, especially the wild-caught variety, is more expensive than chicken on average.
There are many reasons for this trend, from overfishing to increased demand for salmon in many countries.
When you have fresh salmon on hand, you should consume it within 1 to 2 days if you store the fish in the fridge.
Meanwhile, you can prolong its shelf life by freezing the fish since it can last up to 3 months. Although it’s possible to freeze salmon for up to 6 months, the quality of salmon will go down in that case.
In case you have leftover cooked salmon, storing it in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days is a great idea. Also, it can last 4 to 6 months in the freezer.
Storing raw chicken in the fridge is a common choice for many people, since this appliance can keep your chicken fresh for 1 to 2 days. Fresh chicken lasts longer in the freezer because it can be fresh for about 9 months to 1 year (whole chicken is better than chicken pieces).
Like salmon, 3 to 4 days and up to 4 to 6 months are the shelf life of cooked chicken in the refrigerator and freezer.
At room temperature, both cooked salmon and chicken should be consumed in less than 2 hours.
Another difference between chicken and salmon is the mercury level. According to The Food and Drug Administration, salmon contains mercury, but the level is low (3), while there is no mercury in chicken.
In addition, the mercury level in salmon is lower than other seafood, so this fish is one of the best recommendations by the FDA for safe seafood. Still, you should eat salmon no more than 2 to 3 times per week.
Explore the mercury level of salmon and check whether they are safe to eat.
Chicken And Salmon: Which Is Healthier?
Let’s take a look at the table below to have an overview of the difference in nutritional values between cooked farm Atlantic salmon (4) and cooked chicken (with meat and skin on) (5).
|Per 100 grams||Salmon||Chicken|
|Protein||22.1 grams||27.3 grams|
|Calcium||15 milligrams||15 milligrams|
|Fat||12.4 grams||13.6 grams|
|Magnesium||0.016 milligrams||0.02 milligrams|
|Phosphorus||252 milligrams||182 milligrams|
|Vitamin B6||0.647 milligrams||0.4 milligrams|
|Thiamine||0.34 milligrams||0.063 milligrams|
|Vitamin A||69 µg||48 µg|
|Vitamin D (D2+D3)||526 IU||2 IU|
|Cholesterol||63 milligrams||88 milligrams|
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3, omega-6, etc.)||4.55 grams||2.97 grams|
Chicken and salmon are healthy food because they are rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. However, they diverge from each other nutritionally in some ways.
Chicken’s protein content is higher than that of salmon. Filled with easily digestible proteins, chicken is a slightly better food for building muscles. However, the amount of vitamins A and D in salmon is more significant than in chicken.
On a side note, you can see that there is a little more cholesterol and saturated fats in poultry than in fish. The figure will be even higher for skin-on chicken. Therefore, this type of meat should be consumed in a smaller amount than salmon.
Anyway, while both chicken and salmon contain calories and fatty acids, the content of the latter in salmon is much higher than in chicken. These substances, including omega-3 and omega-6, are particularly beneficial for brain health.
In addition, these fatty acids offer many other benefits. They play an essential role in enhancing your bone health and boosting the growth of skin and hair. They also reduce the risks of stroke and heart disease. Unsurprisingly, many people praise salmon as a superfood.
Amazing Recipes With Chicken And Salmon You Can’t Miss
Both chicken and salmon are delicious and high-nutritious food, so they are the main ingredients in many yummy recipes. Here are some examples you should refer to for your weekend meal.
Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
This delicious recipe is the perfect combination of sauteed chicken breasts, garlic parmesan cream sauce, spinach, and dried tomatoes. This delicacy is overflowing with creamy, rich, and meaty flavors that will delight anyone.
Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan
Air frying chicken is one of the popular cooking methods to create a delectable dish without using much oil. In this recipe, people often use boneless chicken breasts and mix them with cheesy parmesan. The layer of panko bread crumbs gives the chicken wonderful crispiness.
Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon
This sweet, savory, and sticky recipe is a great choice for your dinner. Eating this delicacy is an amazing way to add protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins to your body. Also, its cooking time is short since you can serve it after about 25 minutes.
Let’s learn how to cook delicious honey garlic glazed salmon to make your dinner night great again!
Poached Salmon In Coconut Lime Sauce
If you have salmon filets, coconut, and lime in the kitchen, making this recipe is a fantastic recommendation. Besides the creamy and rich taste of the coconut sauce, you can find a bit of spiciness from peppers, chilies, and ginger in this yummy dish.
Reading the frequently asked questions and their answers is necessary because they give you other incredible information about chicken and salmon.
Both chicken and salmon are nutritious foods, but due to the differences in textures, flavors, and nutritional values, each is more suitable for certain purposes and methods of cooking. Though they taste yummy, you need to add seasonings and sauces to enhance their flavor.
Do you know other differences or similarities between chicken and salmon? Don’t hesitate to let me know via comments. Furthermore, don’t forget to share this article with your friends if they ask you about chicken and salmon. Thanks a lot!
- “Nutrition & Health.” National Chicken Council.
- “12 Health Benefits Of Salmon For The Heart, Brain, And Much More.” SafeBeat.org.
- “EPA-FDA Advice about Eating Fish and Shellfish.” EPA, 3 November 2022.
Table of Contents
- Basic Information About Chicken
- Overview Of Salmon – “Chicken Of The Sea”
- Insight Into The Disparities Between Chicken And Salmon
- Amazing Recipes With Chicken And Salmon You Can’t Miss
- Share Your Thoughts About This Article!
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