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Chicharrón-Fried Pork Skins
Posted On May 19, 2020
These are a labor of love, but so worth the effort. This is a good rainy weekend project. They are crispy and spicy if you decide to use the chili powder. You’ll need to get the skin from a good butcher as I doubt you’d be able to get the right type at a grocery store.
The skins can be prepared before hand and stored covered in the fridge until you are ready to fry them. So you could actually boil them the first day and fry them the next day when you want to serve them.
Place pork skin in a large pot, and cover with water. Weigh down the skin with a heatproof plate to keep it fully submerged. Bring water to boil over high, and cook until skin is soft and pliable, but not falling apart, about 2 hours.
Carefully remove skin from pot, and arrange in an even layer, with no folds, on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Chill, uncovered, until completely cool, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 175°F. Using a sturdy heavy spoon, scrape and remove all fat under skin, being careful not to tear the skin. Place scraped skin on a wire rack on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until skins are dehydrated, dry, brown and brittle, about 8 hours.
If using, stir together chile powder, cumin, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Otherwise, just have salt on hand. You will be using this to season the Chicharrón after frying them.
Heat 4 inches of oil in a Dutch oven, to 400°F. Break dried skins into about 1-inch pieces. Fry skin pieces in hot oil, 3 at a time, prodding pieces until skins puff up and turn crispy, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels; sprinkle with chile powder/salt mixture, or plain salt.
Repeat procedure with remaining skin pieces.