Chicharrónes, Cracklins or Pork Rinds

I just thought I would share these little morsels with you all. I made my bacon a few weeks back and the pork belly I bought still had the skin on it. I removed the skin and froze it so I could make chicharrónes/pork rinds/cracklins/gratons or whatever they are called where you are from. Basically they are crispy, deep-fried pieces of pork skin. So first off, you have to remove the skin from the pork.

Now you need to cook the skin to get it soft. I placed the skin into a pot of boiling water and simmered for about 2 hours. You may want to place a plate on the skin to weigh it down and keep it submerged. You want the skin to be soft but not mushy.

Next pull it out and get it nice and cool so you can handle it. Lay it out flat and use a spoon or dull knife to scrape the fat off of the skin. Be careful and try and not rip it too much. It is pretty strong still so you don’t have to be too gentle either.

Next you need to dry the skin which takes the most time of this whole process. I placed the skin on a drying/cooling rack and placed that on a sheet tray. I set my oven to about 175° and let the skin dry for about 12 hours until it was super crisp and would snap in two when bent. Next time I am going to plan this a little better and use the smoker to dry the skin while I cook a pork butt or something. There were a few tiny droplets of fat that I used a couple napkins to soak up.2016-07-09 17.11.02

Break that skin up into little square-ish pieces about 1 inch by 1 inch.2016-07-09 17.21.16

Next up, heat your oil to around 375°. I only used about a cup of oil in my little heavy duty saucepan, it was about an inch deep or so. Drop the pieces in 2 or 3 at a time. Don’t walk away! They only take about 10-ish seconds to curl up and then open up all magically. I was worried they were going to start popping oil all over but they did not. Yay! Pull them out and place onto paper towels to drain and season with whatever you like while they are warm. I used a mixture of chili powder, cumin, cayenne and salt.

Better than the bagged ones from the grocery store chip isle for sure. Plus you can control the seasoning and salt content. Crispy and a touch of chew with the spicy, salty seasoning. Fantastic! Thanks for checking these out and hope it was as much fun for you as it was for me.2016-07-09 17.43.48

Meet Meat!

 

 

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