04 Feb2014

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This dish is for “Lee”, in his far away, off the grid, military location, toiling the “salt mines” while wishing he was home in Bacolod. Whenever I experiment with new dishes, there are a few items that just scream “Lee” and while I have met him only a few times over the years, he seems like an old friend with an affinity for food and humor. So, Lee, this one’s for you. Think of peking duck skin at its best and you salivate. Have a bite of crisp lechon skin, and you forget your meds. So I have been curious about making something out of chicken skin. And while I have tried fried chicken skin in lard or vegetable oil, dredged in all kinds of flour, cornstarch, boiled then baked or fried, etc., I haven’t quite found that version I would be proud to serve out of my kitchen…

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But these flat, crisp and salted chicken skin chips were pretty darned good. Kind of hard to cook evenly in a big pan, but this early version of the experiments to come herald only good things ahead. Get yourself a kilo or so of chicken skins, in larger pieces if possible. Remove any excess fat or meat on the back of the skins using a knife to scrape or cut them off. Wash the skins and dry thoroughly, and I MEAN dry thoroughly. In a large rimmed baking sheet, place a sheet of parchment paper. Lay the chicken skin pieces on the paper, skin side up, and season with some kosher or sea salt. Be careful not to overdo the seasoning, the skins shrink by at least 50% or so. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the top, weigh down with another baking sheet of the same size. Place in a 350-370F oven for about 30-40 minutes. About 10 minutes before they are done, remove the top pan and layer of parchment paper so the skins can brown. Let the skins cook a few minutes more and you should have these amazing “chips”… They seem like a cross between lechon skin and chicharon, but with that distinct aroma of chicken. The only hassle is that they don’t necessarily brown at the same pace, particularly if your oven has uneven heat spots. Do NOT let the skins get too brown, they rapidly turn bitter. I am thinking of spraying the skins with a solution of something sweetish and some soy to achieve a darker color without coming close to burning the skins. A GREAT pulutan to enjoy with an ice cold bottle of beer. I suspect Lee could finish at least a dozen chips before he started to feel guilty about the calories…

Btw, the rendered fat that remains in the pan is essentially schmaltz, which is used as a spread for bread or to fry things in… It’s deadly but good, if you know what I mean.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Lee says:

    Thank you for dedicating this post to me :) I can eat three dozen chips with the least amount of guilt because of my recent Lab results.

    Total Cholesterol: 204.44 mg/dL Reference Range (150-250)
    HDL: 40.37 mg/dL Reference Range (not<35)
    LDL: 145.32 mg/dL Reference Range (not>150)
    Triglycerides: 93.77 mg/dL Reference Range (10-190)

    I also had my sugars checked but that’s another story. I’m a Negrense. Our province grow sugarcane. We have sugar mills. I inhale sugar laden air.

    Feb 4, 2014 | 1:30 pm

     
  2. Zerho says:

    Cholesterol heaven! Would you be producing them commercially MM?. Most chicken skin I’ve eaten are either soggy or have have super thick fat on them.

    Feb 4, 2014 | 1:36 pm

     
  3. Edik says:

    Now I can eat that!

    Feb 4, 2014 | 1:41 pm

     
  4. Doddie says:

    MM,

    Long time, no post. I am back only because of this post. I, too, make crispy chicken skin from the the chicken necks and backs that I boil for chicken stock. Since the stock is seasoned, I don’t need to season the chicken skin. I just gently peel them off the back, neck and fry them on low heat on the pan. The skins come off nice, brown and tender. And yes, I save the schmaltz for my pie crusts and for saueting.

    Feb 4, 2014 | 2:18 pm

     
  5. ianpads says:

    Hi MM,
    at the restaurant… we serve duck skin chicharon w spicy vinegar. Guests love it! problem is now is that its hard to find extra skin from the duck because we use the entire duck( as it should be) for duck confit, breast, stuffed duck neck, bones to make stocks, gizzards and hearts to make stuffing for sausages, etc.
    but its a great alternative( although not a healthy one) and nice to indulge once in a while.

    Feb 4, 2014 | 4:58 pm

     
  6. ami says:

    This is a guilty pleasure of mine but I find that it’s quite hard to find a place that sells a consistently good version of this. The closest one I can think of is Bacolod Chicken Inasal’s version.

    Feb 4, 2014 | 5:22 pm

     
  7. millet says:

    Bravo for Lee’s blood numbers! And thank yiy, MM, for a “healthier” version of a favorite in my home. Will try this soon!

    Feb 4, 2014 | 5:46 pm

     
  8. betty q. says:

    Maybe if you dehydrate it in a slow oven temp. till they turn to shoe leather and then puff in hot oil, it will turn more to like chicharon.

    At any rate, your chicken skin chips, crumbled and added to mashed potatoes is heavenly!

    Feb 4, 2014 | 11:45 pm

     
  9. betty q. says:

    MM…thank you for the inspiration! My lunch today…your Mustard, tomato salad minus the Lechon but topped with chicken chips! For me….sautéed alamang dressing with lime and for hubby, nuoc nam dressing. Bought the ingredients just now…am already drooling thinking about it!

    Mga Mrs….mustard or mustasa in Asian stores, look for SHER LI HON…milder and more tender than Gai choi with the same mustard taste, looks like romaine lettuce. Will plant this in the spring!

    Feb 5, 2014 | 2:32 am

     
  10. marixie says:

    Would “flash dunking” them in a deep fryer achieve the same crispy results? Of course when you haul them out of the deep fryer, spread them over paper towels to remove excess oil.This seems a faster way of preparing them rather than layering them and weighing down with a cookie sheet in the oven!!

    Feb 5, 2014 | 11:10 am

     
  11. marixie says:

    To Lee (the Negrense) regarding your cholesterol. The latest Mayo Clinic reports on ideal cholesterol levels are as follows (all in mg/dl):
    Total Cholesterol: below 200=ideal. 200-239=borderline high; 240 and above=high.
    LDL: less than 70= ideal for people at VERY HIGH RISK for heart disease; less than 100= ideal for people AT RISK of heart disease; 100-129=near ideal; 130-159 =borderline high; 160-189=high; 190 and above=very high.
    HDL: Below 40 (men)=Poor; Below 50 (women)=Poor; 40-49 (men)=better; 50-59(women)=better; 60 and above=best. Of course these values are taken in light of other comorbid conditions such as age (>45 yrs old for men, >55 yrs old for women), family history of heart disease, stroke,diabetes. I don’t know which reference your physician was using, but I feel the references used can give you a false sense of security.

    Feb 5, 2014 | 11:39 am

     
  12. Marketman says:

    marixie, if you “flash dunk” in oil, they tend to curl up and cook unevenly unless previously boiled them. I have tried several fried versions and didn’t come close to these ones. The double pan treatment makes sure they are flat and crisp up flat, rather than curled (chicken skins in restaurants often bring a plate of highly cornstarch and deep fried versions to your table… Also, in the double pan treatment, a lot of oil renders out, so presumably they are healthier? Hahaha. I know, that sounds absurd…

    Feb 5, 2014 | 11:48 am

     
  13. Lee says:

    thanks @marixie :) I’m really watching what I eat and i hope to get better results after 3 months . I’m also working hard to lower my sugars.

    Feb 5, 2014 | 1:55 pm

     
  14. Ariel Nievera says:

    I buy them here in California, chicken chicharon is $9 @ pound. Good with a cold beer or single malt scotch

    Feb 5, 2014 | 4:36 pm

     
  15. Khew says:

    I love rendering chicken skins. Both fat and crispy skins add so much flavour to chicken fillings in either pies or curry puffs without ever having to appear as pale yucky bits.

    Feb 6, 2014 | 11:12 am

     
  16. Kasseopeia says:

    I would arm-wrestle Lee for a few of these.
    A couple (or ten) of Cerveza Negras and I will be one happy woman :)

    Feb 11, 2014 | 9:38 pm

     
  17. joey @ 80 breakfasts says:

    “Deadly but good”…boy am I familiar with the concept! These look gorgeous and I’m drooling right now!!

    Lee — hope you are doing well!!

    Feb 26, 2014 | 1:32 pm

     
  18. DhayL says:

    We had some “chicken skins” over the weekend, thanks to my good old Filipino Store in my neighbourhood! So good with the spicy vinegar! I usually put the left over in the toaster oven and it makes it a bit crunchi-er!

    Feb 27, 2014 | 10:44 pm

     

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