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Fried Chicken Skins

Looking for a chip-like, salty snack to satisfy your snacking needs? Check out these Fried Chicken Skins, courtesy of Megan Keatley at Health-Bent. Thanks, Megan!

I really love pork rinds & cracklings, but it’s next to impossible to find any commercial brands that source foraging piggies. Make my own, you say? I’ve tried that, but it just takes so darn long. When those salty snack craving hits, sometimes you want instant gratification.

I got the idea while I was braising some chicken quarters the other night. Braising means you brown a piece of meat in a skillet and then stick the meat in a pot of liquid. In my humble opinion, chicken skin and liquid do not like each other. The skin gets so soggy, and that is something I do not enjoy munching on. So I pulled the skins off the quarters, and continued on my merry braising way, frying up the skins as a late night snack.

Fried Chicken Skins

The Players

The How-To
In a large, well seasoned, cast iron pan melt a tablespoon or so of your fat choice over medium heat. Working in batches, as to not overcrowd the pan, lay the skins into the fat. Let the skins render and cook until a nice, golden brown color has developed. Flip to the other side and fry until golden brown. Place the fried skins on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.

If the skins shrivel up & constrict too much when you lay them in the fat:

  • Turn down the heat a bit.
  • Immediately flip the skins over to the other side; this will sort of ‘unfold’ the shriveled side and keep the skins straight.

Serve immediately, doused with hot sauce and/or drizzled with honey.

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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21 Responses to Fried Chicken Skins
  1. Ruth @ Ruth's Real Food
    October 20, 2011 | 3:04 pm

    Great idea! I also don’t like chicken skin when it gets cooked in liquid. On one or two occasions I’ve grilled them in the oven. Yum.

  2. KVP
    October 20, 2011 | 8:01 pm

    just curious…is there a way just to buy chicken skin? I mean they sell “skinless chicken” but I’ve never seen just the skin. Do you recommend a good source for chicken skin.

    • KristenM
      October 20, 2011 | 10:31 pm

      I’ve never seen a place to buy just the skin. I think the skins from all the skinless chicken end up going into chicken meal and other such goodies.

    • Estrella
      February 22, 2012 | 4:36 pm

      I requested chicken skins from the meat department at the local natural food grocery. They actually started saving the skins when they prepare skinless cuts. So, now I can get a 5 lb. bag every week if I want. They also save bones for me (from the boneless breasts, thighs, etc.) which I use to make bone broth.

      It’s great to educate stores and also keep a lot from going to waste.

  3. Karen
    October 20, 2011 | 8:08 pm

    I love crispy chicken skin. Not sure why I never thought of this. Now, if they would just sell me a package of chicken skin….so I could make up a batch!

  4. Jennifer
    October 20, 2011 | 9:24 pm

    Yum, yum, yum! My son would love these – he likes to peel the crispy just-baked skin off my roasted chickens :)

  5. elise
    October 21, 2011 | 12:23 pm

    that is a fantastic recipe! i like pork rinds too, but not as much as chicken skin! my neighbor has a brood of chickens and I get yard eggs from them, I will ask about a fresh chicken to clean and cook.

  6. lydia
    October 21, 2011 | 1:43 pm

    YES! YES! YES! All I can say is YOU ROCK!

  7. Walter Jeffries
    October 21, 2011 | 2:25 pm

    I tell my children that the chicken skins are bad for them. “No,” I say, “Don’t eat it. I’ll do it for you so you are protected…” Unfortunately they catch on after a few years. *sigh* My 8 year old daughter still occasionally bribes me with a piece of her chicken skin. She knows the way to her father’s heart. She also knows how to call in on her brownie points. (The crisps were worth it though!)

    As to pastured pork rinds, hold onto your britches and watch this space! We’re planning to make them someday from our pastured pigs. We’ve had plenty of requests. Our whole family loves them. Once we have our on-farm slaughterhouse and butcher shop finished we’ll have our own commercial kitchen, brine and smokehouse. The demand is there and the supply of raw materials. It is one more way that we work to sell the pig nose-to-tail.

    • KristenM
      October 21, 2011 | 2:32 pm

      Now THAT is worth looking forward to! I love pork rinds and am looking forward to getting them from a truly reputable source.

    • mike
      January 25, 2014 | 6:39 pm

      The only part of a pig you can’t eat is its squeal.

  8. Hannah
    October 25, 2011 | 9:19 am

    Oh, these sound so good Kirsten! I love pan frying the fat, but never thought about drizzling the honey on them. (I’m hungry now.)

  9. Debra @ Sweet Kisses and Dirty Dishes
    November 5, 2011 | 9:23 pm

    I made this today with chicken skins left over from bone broth. Imade bone broth, deboned the chicken, shredded the meat for use in several meals, reboiled the bones, and fried the skins. I would say that is making the most of a chicken!

  10. Naomi
    November 11, 2011 | 1:45 pm

    I just place the skins (boiled or raw) onto a baking sheet, add a little salt, and bake them until crispy. There’s enough fat in them to get them fried!

  11. Samantha P
    February 14, 2012 | 9:33 am

    Oh. Man. I made these last night and I was so sad when it was over. I could easily eat 5 entire chickens worth of fried skin and still want more, it’s that delicious to me. It’s like the bacon of chicken!!!!! Thanks!

  12. Michael Montgomery
    March 6, 2012 | 1:50 pm

    Just made these with leftover thigh skins. Dredged them in flour and fried in bacon drippings. Very good with a sweet & salty homemade habanero hot sauce.

  13. pat
    March 30, 2012 | 9:24 am


  14. Nourished for Free
    January 24, 2013 | 9:27 pm

    I cannot wait to try these! I always get in trouble for peeling off all the skin off the chicken and eating it before it gets to the table :)

  15. Lanie
    October 26, 2013 | 5:22 pm

    I guess I’m very lucky, no one has noticed the fried chicken thighs with missing skin………yet.

  16. Hazel
    March 1, 2014 | 4:53 pm

    (where to buy good fats) link doesn’t work

  17. Marly Harris
    September 1, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    I’ve been eating “gribenes” since I was a child. Preparing chicken skin in this manner is an old Jewish recipe. Some contemporary folk worry about the saturated fat and that’s unfortunate. I’m 81 and I eat as much of this as I possibly can (it’s impossible to find chicken skin at the markets and we don’t have a butcher shop, just supermarkets).

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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