Chicken Cracklings fresh out of the oven are the most decadent mouth-watering perfume for your kitchen!
Are you looking for the best homemade baked Chicken Skin Cracklings recipe? Our quick and easy Chicken Cracklings can be made in under an hour. They offer a delicious, crunchy snack for poultry lovers.
Enjoy Chicken Cracklings all on their own as if you’re snacking on a cracker. Or crunch over your favourite savoury dishes to add additional texture and a boost of chicken flavour!
These low carb Chicken Cracklings are gluten free, nut free, egg free, dairy free, perfect for those practicing a keto diet.
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What are Chicken Cracklings?
Have you seen Chicken Cracklings on a restaurant menu or in a recipe and have no clue what they are? I’m thrilled to introduce you to one of the greatest gifts to humankind, crispy seasoned chicken skin.
Most people have enjoyed Chicken Cracklings as they are naturally produced, after roasting a bird in the oven. You know that perfectly-browned, well-seasoned, addictive skin that is full of chicken flavour?
Most people enjoy Chicken Cracklings as a by-product of roast chicken during the holidays. We like to enjoy crispy chicken skin all year round. Our Chicken Skin Cracklings recipe shows just how easy they are to make at home.
My Family Loves Crispy Chicken Skin
Is there anything better than plucking off the skin of a chicken or turkey moments after it is removed from the oven?
My mother would rub the skin with fresh herbs from the garden, lemon zest, salt and cracked pepper. She’d then lift up the skin and stuff the underside with a mixture of soft butter, garlic and shallot. Once the chicken was removed from the oven she’d tent it with tin foil to ensure the meat retained its juices.
I was always sneaky, and when she wasn’t looking, my fingers would snatch a piece of crunchy seasoned skin. By the time my dad was ready to carve the bird they’d find patches of undressed bird. My sister and I were famous for snacking on Chicken Cracklings during the holidays.
Once we were all seated around the festive table my father would divide the remaining crunchy Chicken Cracklings so we all had a boost of flavour on our festive plates. I’d sprinkle crunched up Chicken Cracklings over my mashed potatoes, creating a sublime contrast of creamy spuds and crispy chicken skin.
Where To Eat Chicken Cracklings
So you’re keen to get a taste of Chicken Cracklings but don’t know where to start?
You’ll see from our recipe below that crispy chicken skin is easy to make at home. We suggest sampling them first at a local restaurant to get an idea of how they are served and what texture you’re looking to achieve.
The first time I sampled Chicken Cracklings at a restaurant was at Carbon Bar in Toronto. The popular American smokehouse barbecue restaurant features flavours from Florida, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana. The restaurant served Chicken Cracklings on their appetizer menu with a sweet chili vinegar for dipping.
I most associate Chicken Cracklings with food traditions from the American south. But just like Pork Rinds, you’ll find crispy chicken skin is a global infatuation, popping up on menus in The Philippines, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama.
Chicken Skin For Sale
If you’re going to make Cracklings the most important ingredient is chicken skin. In our recipe we remove the skin off chicken thighs and roast them in the oven on baking sheets.
You want to only buy chicken skin that is removed from the brown meat of the bird, not the breast. This area of the chicken holds more fat, allowing you to achieve a crispy chicken cracker texture when baking.
You may be wondering, “Where can I buy chicken skin?” You can buy raw chicken skin all on its own by visiting your local butcher or getting friendly with the manager at your grocery stores meat department.
It is possible to just buy chicken skin without having to purchase the meat. We most often prepare Chicken Cracklings whenever we’re making our favourite chicken thigh recipe as its a delicious by-product. You’ll never want to buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs again!
If you’re hosting a large BBQ in your backyard and want to serve a lot of Chicken Cracklings it is best to ask your local grocer or butcher if you can buy just chicken skins from them. Since they are a by-product of chicken processing they tend to be very cheap.
For the purpose of this recipe we are using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. You can use the leftover thigh meat to prepare our popular recipes for Tikka Masala Barley Soup, White BBQ Sandwiches with Jalapeno and Pickles or Festive Cranberry Stuffing Sandwiches.
How To Make Chicken Cracklings
Homemade Chicken Cracklings are easy to make at home in under an hour and require only a few ingredients.
- In a large bowl toss chicken thighs in oil, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You can add additional flavourings like dried herbs or lemon zest if you like. If you like a spicy kick add chilli powder or cayenne pepper.
- Place chicken thighs skin side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes in a preheated oven, until chicken skin is light brown and just starting to get crispy.
- Let chicken thighs cool for 10 minutes so you can remove the skin by slipping them off the thigh meat. Be careful not to burn your fingers! Your roast pan will be full of rendered chicken fat. Don’t throw it out! We suggest pouring the chicken fat into a small plastic tub and storing it in the fridge. Schmaltz is one of our favourite fats to cook with.
- Place chicken cracklings exterior skin side up on a baking sheet and return to oven for 10-15 more minutes. Chicken Cracklings should be dark brown and crispy before removing from the oven.
- Cool chicken cracklings on a paper towel and serve at room temperature.
What Can You Do With Chicken Cracklings?
The best way to enjoy crispy chicken skin is eating them like a cracker or chip. A decadent snack!
Since chicken skin is a fatty snack it’s best to serve it with an acidic sauce to balance out the flavours. You can have a bit of fun here depending on what cultural cuisine you are craving. Make a simple vinaigrette with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar inspired by Japan, Gochujang BBQ sauce from Korea, or a simple chili, lime and vinegar mixture from Mexico.
If you have leftover Chicken Cracklings we suggest chopping them up and storing them in a jar. Use them like you would any other flavouring in your spice drawer. Chicken skin is packed with salt so crumbling them over a soup or salad imparts an amazing chicken flavour.
Think of how you might want to add a salty flavour to some of your favourite homemade dishes. For example, if you’re roasting broccoli or cauliflower, spritz with acidic lemon and sprinkle with Chicken Cracklings!
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Best Chicken Cracklings Recipe
Chicken Cracklings Recipe
- mixing bowl
- measuring spoons
- baking sheet
- 8 Chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp Onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a large bowl toss chicken thighs in vegetable oil, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Place chicken thighs skin side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, until chicken skin is light brown and just starting to get crispy.
- Let chicken thighs cool for 10 minutes so you can remove the skin by slipping them off the thigh meat.
- Place chicken cracklings exterior skin side up on a baking sheet and return to oven for 10-15 more minutes. Skin should be dark brown and crispy before removing from the oven.
- Cool chicken cracklings on paper towel and serve at room temperature.
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