Cracklings are a Southern appetizer that traditionally consists of pork skin that’s deep-fried until crispy and puffed. These cracklings are baked rather than fried, which reduces the greasiness that fried cracklings tend to have. It also ensures a nice and crispy crackling—as does scraping off as much of the excess fat from the underside of the skin as possible.
This helps dry out the skin while it’s baking and makes a nice crunchy chip rather than a chewy one. The baked cracklings are tossed in a garlic and rosemary curry seasoning mixture that makes them even more savory and that much more of an addictive appetizer. But their enjoyment isn’t limited to snacking, they also make a great crunchy topping for sandwiches and wraps, and make for a savory gluten-free crouton substitute in salads. This recipe calls for 1 pound of chicken skin, which you can either get from a butcher or acquire through saving and freezing raw chicken skin as you use the meat of the bird.
Yield: 2 servings
- 1 pound chicken skin
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take a piece of chicken skin and lay it flat on the cutting board. Use a blunt knife to scrape the excess fat off the skin. Set the skin aside on a paper towel, and repeat until all the chicken skin has been cleaned.
In a small bowl, mix together the salt, rosemary, garlic powder and curry powder until combined.
Place the chicken skin on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch around each piece. Sprinkle with half of the spice mixture. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the chicken skin and another baking sheet on top of it to keep the skin from curling up as it cooks. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the skins are crisp and golden brown, rotating the pan 180 degrees once halfway through cooking.
Use tongs to move the chicken skins to a large plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Transfer to the serving plate, sprinkle with the remaining spice mixture and serve.
Recipe from Adventures in Chicken: 150 Amazing Recipes From the Creator of AdventuresInCooking.com by Eva Kosmas Flores. Copyright ©2016 by Eva Kosmas Flores. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
This story originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Chickens magazine.