Oven Fried Crispy Chicken Skin Cracklings… great substitute for bacon.

Crispy Chicken Skin Cracklings… great substitute for bacon. I know. Seriously? Chicken skin cracklings? I never thought I would one day post about such a recipe. Over the years, crispy chicken skin has become more and more popular. You know, sort of like the bacon and maple doughnuts. I mean, who would have thought that bacon would one day be used in in a variety of sweets. But you know, I tried the bacon and maple doughnut … and it was delicious! It seems that crispy chicken skin has made it as the next “bacon”…. maybe it’s just a fad. Or maybe it’s come and gone already, and I’m still behind times:). However, I’ve certainly seen creative recipes using chicken skin cracklings. Aside from simply serving them as an appetizer with hot sauce, there’s the crispy chicken skin ice cream….  and  ice cream served in crispy chicken skin “cups”. Yes, ice cream. No surprise there, because if bacon is used, why not crispy chicken skin? It almost tastes like crispy bacon… salty and crunchy. And it is delicious! I’m not even kidding…
I’ve always been one that enjoyed eating the crispy chicken skin from baked chicken. So I knew I would probably enjoy the chicken cracklings… actually I was hoping they would be much better:). Baked chicken skin, even fried, isn’t always crispy to the point of being called a crackling. So I was excited to take the chicken skin to the crackling stage… this way I’d get rid of most of the fat and remain with all the flavor. 
For some time now, I’ve been saving my chicken skin. I know… most people would toss it out. Not me. I’ve been keeping them in the freezer so that one day I could make a big batch of crispy chicken skin:).  The day finally arrived. And all I can say is yum!! They were incredible. So light and crispy. Reminded me of chicharrones… especially the chicken skin pieces that were completely rendered of their fat.
My husband and I ate the chicken skin cracklings as a snack, and enjoyed every bite:). They were gone so quick, that all my plans for using them in a variety of recipes went out the door. I had big plans for them…. for chocolate chip cookies, in chocolate, with popcorn, in tacos, on top of egg sandwiches, and in all sorts of salads.  I guess I’ll just have to start saving the skins again:). If you like bacon, you’ll love these… at  least it would somewhat make sense:). Hope you enjoy…    
Note: It is important to monitor the chicken skins as they are baking… you don’t want them to burn… every oven is different, and chicken skins vary.
You will need:
chicken skin
  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F 
  • line a sheet pan with parchment paper

1. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and place in a single layer in the parchment lined sheet pan.

2. Cover chicken skin with another parchment paper and place another equal size sheet pan on top. Add a couple of heavy oven-proof pots, or a cast iron skillet… I used a couple of small cast iron casserole pans. 
3. Bake for about 40-45 minutes checking halfway, and a few times after that, to ensure chicken skins are not burning. Cook skin until crisp, being careful not to burn… the more fat is rendered, the crispier the crackling.
You can drain the fat that accumulates… a few minutes before the end of the cooking time, and then bake the skins uncovered until nice and crispy. You can likewise keep them covered throughout the whole cooking process. Keeping them covered eliminates splattering of fat all over the oven:). 
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