Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Today's installment comes courtesy of Sara Camp Arnold, the editor of SFA's quarterly publication, "Gravy."
We’ve noticed chicken skins popping up on menus across the South lately, threatening to eclipse their porcine cousins (by which we mean pork skins, aka chicharrones, aka pork rinds).
One of the chefs leading the chicken-skin charge is Matt Kelly of Mateo Tapas and Vin Rouge in Durham, North Carolina.* Back in June, he masterminded a collard salad with chicken-skin “chicharrones” for our New York Potlikker. Matt kindly shared his recipe with us, so that you can recreate this funky riff on Tar Heel favorites (note the collard greens, peanuts, and barbecue sauce–inspired dressing) at home.
Collard Salad with Chicken Skin “Chicharrones,” Crispy Shallots, Peanuts, and BBQ Vinaigrette
1 lb. raw chicken skins
2 quarts lard (or duck fat)
1 bunch young collards or kale
6-7 large shallots
1 head garlic, roughly chopped
2 cups raw peanuts
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 cup fish sauce (Matt recommends 3 Crabs or Red Boat brand)
1 cup sherry vinegar
1 fresh egg
1 gallon peanut oil
Fine sea salt
1. Clean the chicken skins. Poach in pork fat/lard/duck fat for 1 hour at 200F in the oven. Remove and drain the chicken skins let cool. Heat peanut oil to 325F gently add skins and allow to crisp like a pork rind. Once crispy drain skins on a paper towel. Season with salt and black pepper. Reserve.
2. Clean collards and remove stems. Blanch for 6-7 minutes, then shock in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
(You can substitute mustard greens, baby collards and different types of kale.)
3. Fry 2 cups thinly sliced shallot in peanut oil at 275F until golden brown; drain and store on an absorbent paper towel. Fry 1/2 cup of garlic to golden brown at the same temperature drain and store on an absorbent paper towel. Increase the oil temperature to 350F and fry 2 cups of peanuts until golden brown; drain and let cool. Once cooled, roughly chop the peanuts. Combine crispy shallot, garlic, and chopped peanuts. Toss with brown sugar and sea salt. Set aside.
4. Combine in blender 1 cup fish sauce, 1 cup sherry vinegar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, one egg yolk, 1 tbsp ground black pepper, 2 tbsp smoked Spanish paprika. Blend ingredients until sugar is dissolved and slowly add 2 cups peanut oil until emulsified. Adjust seasoning to your liking.
5. To assemble salad, season collards with salt and black pepper, dress with BBQ vinaigrette and let marinate for a minimum of five minutes. Once the collards have been marinated, add the crispy chicken skins and place on the serving dish. Sprinkle a liberal amount of the fried peanut, garlic and shallot mixture on top of the salad and serve.
* PS: Another North Carolinian making use of chicken skins is Vivian Howard, who topped a chicken and rice bog with crispy herbed chicken skins at our Tabasco Luncheon during the Southern Foodways Symposium.
Read more at the Southern Foodways Alliance's blog
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pretty sure you could easily make this without the lard. just spread the skins on a baking sheet or something, season, and bake in the oven. i don't understand why the lard is involved, as chicken skin always gets super crispy with no extra grease at all. is there a reason for it?
I've been making Cacklin Cracklins for a little while since I found this: http://www.realcajuncooking.com/2009/10/cacklin-cracklins.html. They taste *very* much like pork cracklin's I buy when I'm in Cajun country!
(For the second cooking I do them on medium power. And use Cajun seasoning rather than just salt and pepper.)
I'm going to try this recepie tonight! :) :D :-)
I think I will stick to my baked chicken, probably better for me.
Hey CLOWN. Exactly you are a CLOWN. Of course baked chicken is better for you! Was that McDonalds good for you? Was that large soda good for you? Quit trying to act like you are healthy, because we all know what you really look like behind the computer screen. You're probably eating fried chicken right now.
No wonder heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US.
And that is why you are so stupid. Because you try to put others down right away. This article is about a new food growing in popularity in the US. You take this opportunity to put others down and put shame on the US. PLEASE get off of your toilet pedestal and stick your head in it. You would do us all a favor!
Jews have been been making Schmaltz for generations, one of the bi-products is crispy chunks of chicken skin called gribbenes. You take the fat and the skin from the a chicken (my mother mostly just used the skin from the chicken necks, but any skin will do.) Cut the skin into small pieces – not bigger than about an inch square. Chop up an onion and put it all in a frying pan with the chicken fat. The fat will melt and the remaining fat on the skin will also render off. When the onion bits get good browned (I like them almost burned) and the chicken skin gets browned ans shrink up, drain off the rendered fat into a bowl. Then place the onions and the skins into a strainer lined with paper towel or cheese cloth and let this drain for awhile into the bowl as well. As it drains the skins and onions will get a bit more crispy. Put the bowl of fat into refrigerator to solidify – this is what is called schmaltz. It will have a nice flavor from the onions and can be used spread on bread or to flavor other cooking. The onions and the skins get consumed like popcorn with a little salt or between small pieces of bread – we always wrapped it up in small chunks or challah. But don't wait too long or the skins will get a bit soggy. Oh and expect a bit of heart burn to follow the pleasure of consuming this ethnic treat.
My brother and I used to fight over this stuff. Most delicious part of the chicken after the soup!
The headline should read: Pork Rinds are the new Gribbenes.
Yum! You just brought back some of my most wonderful memories.
I've been making these for years, in the microwave. 1 step. Works like a charm.....
Umm, like Bucket O'Skins anyone....
Brother Akbar would make these for us for $1 per back with a secret sauce. Muslims don't eat pork was this an alternative to the pork rind. Simply delicious. I'm not a muslim, but when I go to Jersey City, I look for those chicken skins!
My grandmother made the BEST fried chicken. I took it a step further by separating the fried chicken from its fried skin. Then I would smear apple sauce on two slices of white bread, add the chicken skin, and munch away. If we didn't have applesauce, I would use mayonnaise on the bread, add the fried chicken skin, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Mind you, I was 11 years old the last time I did this. That was just 4 years ago! (NOT!)
" That was just 4 years ago! (NOT!)" Fooled me
Just having fun.
Paula Dean fries hers in butter!
Wow, I thought this was something my family came up with! I remember going to grandma's house after school and she would have a metal tin filled with... Fried Chicken Skin! Sounds disturbing written out but man it was delicious...
(mind you, it wasn't that long ago... something like the early 90s?)
Given the popularity of the skin off the fried turkey, the only surprise is why I haven't tried this before!
I like crispy-fried chicken skin, from pastured chickens. You wouldn't want your diet to be made completely from them (or completely from any other one item), but in its place, it is GOOD.
Gross and gross. I wouldn't eat either of them.
This may be new to the South, but this has been a traditional food since the 18th or 19th Century, and possibly well before. in the European Jewish culture.
Yea gribenes! Jewish bacon and a staple of my childhood.
I applaud that no one has done the self-loathing "Americans are obese" comments.
This may contribute, but.........
Darn it, those sound soooooooooo good
If you add enough spices to something putrid and fry it, it turns out delicious. Mexicans do this all the time, just add chile and lime to some fried bugs, and voila they taste delicious!
Wake me when they be makin fried chicken foreskins.
next thing you know they'll be eating fried chicken buttholes
Out of desperation due to severe food allergies, I've been making "Chicken Bacon" for years! It's addicitve and doesn't require deep frying, just fry the skin in an iron skillet until it's as brown as bacon and as crisp as you'd like it. Salt freely. Yum!
When I was a little girl my Mom would take extra chicken skins and simply place them in a frying pan. They created their own oil for frying. After cooking til crispy she would let them cool on a paper towel. She called them gribbinas. I think it was a yiddish term. So tasty!
In my family we always end up fighting for the turkey skin at the holidays. The skin is the best part, when it's all brown and crispy.
I've done something similar with turkey skins and OMG, it was totally worth it. I just baked them down between two silpats and ended up with these amazing crisp turkey chips (which admittedly, I turned into nachos.) YUM!
Oh man, yeah. Chicken skin is great and all, but turkey skin works so much better for this sort of thing.
Want.....need.....must......have.....Now where the hell am I gonna find some duck fat?
In the Politics threads.
Asian markets usually carry it. Me, I'm thinking bacon grease would be a good substitute
Ah. Good call.
you don't need any lard at all. idk why the recipe calls for it. it crisps up on its own without it.
I'm in love...
That recipe could have stopped at the end of step one. Those skins probably have less than 10 calories per serving. *snicker*
Peanut oil is great. It's what my dad uses when deep frying the Thanksgiving Turkey
I'd hit it.
Of course you would.....I wonder what VEGAN skin would taste like ? A San Francisco Treat.....
Yeah, well .... ~_~
Deep fried anything tastes good. Even Vegan skin in duck fat couldn't be that bad. Maybe a little thin and stringy ...
Do you know how hard it is to get good locally sourced organic Vegan skin where I live? You'd think I was asking for an arm and a leg. Sigh........
blah blah blah. Once a fat turd always a fat turd.
Soooo when you finish up your 4th year of 3rd grade ....
So you finally took a Selfie of yourself in the mirror and realized-" I Can't compete..'cuz I gotz Cellulite ".
I can dig it!
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