I have made many cracklin's in my day. This recipe is the result of many trials. If you look online or in old books, the process of cooking the skin can vary. I have found that when I sous vide the skin, it allows me to really control the end results of the chips. I want them to have the texture of a really crunchy "cheese puff." I am not into the soft ones. After all, its a frigging crackling'! If you do not have an immersion circulator at home, they are pretty affordable online and they give you an advantage to many recipes and techniques. We got ours at anovaculinary.com, and it has been such a game changer in our kitchen functionality. If you aren't in the market for one, you can cook the skin in a pot of water over medium heat for about 2 hours, or until you can pierce the skin all the way through with your finger. You will want to weigh the skin down with a small plate.
We bought some pork belly to make Bao and it made no sense to pay for skin, just to throw it away. When you are cleaning the fat off of the skin, it's important to make sure that you get as much of the fat off as possible before cooking.
We reserved the fat in the freezer for later use. Most likely, it will end up in our lamb sausage.
We cryovaced and sous vide the pork skin at 180 degrees (fahrenheit) for about 12 hours until the skin is fully cooked and has a slight give to it. From here, you will need to dehydrate the cooked skin until it is fully dried out. You can either dry it whole, fry, then break into pieces. Or, you can cut into manageable strips, dehydrate, then fry individually. Fry in your favorite oil (peanut oil works best) at 400 degrees until they puff up and stop bubbling. Dry on paper towels and immediately toss in the ranch powder. (Recipe below) Let cool for about 3 minutes. Crunch time!
For the ranch powder.
- 1 tablespoons dried parsley.
- 1 tablespoon dried chives.
- 1 teaspoons garlic powder.
- 2 teaspoons onion powder.
- 2 teaspoon dried dill.
- 1/2 cup dry buttermilk.
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- 1 tsp dried red bell pepper
- 1 tsp dried red chile flakes