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.


  1. KVP says

    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 says

      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 says

      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.

  2. Karen says

    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!

  3. elise says

    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.

  4. says

    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.

  5. Naomi says

    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!

    • Lisa says

      Microwave is clean and easy. If the skin is from already roasted chicken, it will not take long. If raw, lay on plate, covered with paper towel and watch closely at 50% power till crisp.

  6. Samantha P says

    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!

  7. Michael Montgomery says

    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.

  8. Marly Harris says

    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).

  9. Lisa says

    Your way is WAY TOO MUCH WORK. You can microwave chicken skin on a microwave safe plate with a paper towel over it for 12 minutes, at 50% power, checking every 4 minutes (better after 8 minutes.) Add a minute at a time if necessary. Dust with light salt.

  10. says

    Just what I was looking for. The chicken pho recipe I am making said to remove the skins from the chicken breasts. I couldn’t see the sense in throwing them away.

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