Take the skin off some freshly roasted chicken while it's still nice and hot. Arrange roasted side down (the soft fleshy side up) on a foil-lined baking sheet. Try to open up the pieces so they lie flat. Bake at 400-425º for 5-10 minutes or until very crisp. You may need to remove some of the thinner pieces sooner and keep the thicker, more rubbery pieces in a bit longer.
I tried this as an experiment and was amazed at how similar they are to pork rinds, but without the nasty piggy flavor. Mine came out a little too salty, but I had over-seasoned the chicken that I'd roasted because I had no idea that I'd end up trying to make these today.
I can't give you the nutritional counts for these, but I suspect that they're not as high in fat as you might think. There was a huge puddle of chicken grease left on the baking sheet when they were done. I wasn't sure what temperature to bake them, so I just kept the same temperature that I'd roasted the chicken, which was 425º. Some of the pieces got a little dark, but then I was also guessing on the amount of time. I have no idea how well these will keep, but I think they should be refrigerated just to be safe. I do know that they tasted the best when still hot, but they're fine once they've cooled too. My next experiment will be to try saving the skins, freezing them and roasting them later for snacking right from the oven.
CHICKEN CRACKLINGS VARIATION
Skin from 8 chicken thighs
Spread the pieces of skin in a single layer on a large baking sheet. I lined mine with heavy foil and I suggest using nonstick foil. It won't matter if the edges of the pieces of skin are touching each other because they will shrink. Very lightly season with salt on one side only. Bake at 350º 30 minutes. Carefully turn them over and bake another 10 minutes or so until they're golden brown and crisp.
Makes about 3 ounces cracklings
Per Whole Batch: 386 Calories; 35g Fat; 17g Protein; 0g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 0g Net Carbs
I got this recipe from Jacques Pépin's website. Scroll down on that page to see his instructions for cracklings. Mine were pretty dark and crisp after the first 30 minutes of baking so watch them closely after flipping them over. Don't season them with anything but salt. I put some garlic powder on mine and it burned and turned bitter. Go very easy on the salt because they end up about half the size after baking so the salt will be very concentrated. Baking them from raw skin results in very flat cracklings, not curly ones like in the photo above. The calories and fat grams might actually be a little lower than what I've posted because I used the counts for regular roasted chicken skin. I'm sure that more fat renders out of the cracklings than the fat on a roast chicken.
For comparison, here are the counts for 3 ounces of store bought pork rinds. You can see that the calories and fat are almost half what they are for roasted chicken skin. That's because so much of the fat has rendered out of the pork rinds.
Per 3 Ounces Pork Rinds: 240 Calories; 15g Fat; 37g Protein; 0g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 0g Net Carbs
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