Fried chicken skin (chicken skin cracklings) makes a tasty, crispy snack for low carb keto diets. Perfect for those who don’t like or eat pork!
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Do you throw away the raw chicken skin from chicken thighs and chicken breasts you buy from the store? After making these crispy chicken skin chips, you won’t want to throw away that chicken skin any more! Seriously, these are so good my kids were fighting oven them. But don’t eat too many at one sitting because they are very rich.
What are chicken skin cracklings, chicharrones, or chips?
Cracklings are pieces of animal fat and skin that have been fried until crispy and seasoned with salt and other seasonings. Chicharrones specifically refers to pork – a misnomer for chicken skin. This recipe is closer to pork rinds – which includes just the skin and no fat.
Does Fried Chicken Skin Have Carbs?
Fried chicken skin a great keto snack that is high in healthy fats, moderate in protein, and has zero carbs, depending on the seasoning you choose. These zero carb chips are a wonderful low carb alternative for your favorite dip ((https://www.lowcarbmaven.com/herbed-crackers-bacon-horseradish-dip/) or topping with guacamole, sour cream or salsa.
How to make crispy chicken skin in the oven.
Making pork rinds at home is a laborious task. Pork skin is very thick, tough and fatty. It must go through an hours-long process of boiling to soften the skin before baking can even begin. Skins are baked low and low for 2-3 hours in order to completely render out all the fat and produce that that nice, crispy texture. That’s a lot of work for a snack.
Chicken skin is much easier because it’s thinner, contains less fat and cooks up quickly. The best skin for making oven fried chicken skin comes from chicken breasts or thighs. The skin from these cuts are easy to remove in one piece and can be laid out flat on a baking sheet.
Start by preheating the oven to 400 F. Place an oven rack in the middle position. Line a stainless-steel rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. I like this parchment paper from Costco. It comes in a two-pack at the store, is very good quality and each roll that lasts forever.
Using a sharp knife, remove the chicken skin from the thighs or chicken breasts. Trim any large pieces of fat from the edges. Scrape away any extra fat or skin from the underside of the skin.
Moisture will prevent the skins from crisping, so be sure to dry the skins completely on paper towels. Then stretch them out onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer.
Season lightly with salt and pepper or add some extra flavor with your favorite herb seasoning blend or dry rub. Go easy on the seasoning because the chicken skin shrinks as it cooks (as much as 50%), concentrating the seasoning. The chicken skin frys in its own fat and becomes very crispy.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until browned and crisp. They should be a deep golden brown, a little darker than the photos. Remove from the pan and drain excess fat on paper towels.
How Long will Chicken Skins Last?
Let the chicken skins cool completely before moving them to an airtight container. Since homemade chicken skins don’t contain all the preservatives found in store bought pork rinds, it’s important to store them in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.
Chicken skins should be eaten within three days. If the chicken skins become stale, simply place them on a sheet pan in a 350 F oven for several minutes to re-crisp.
Oven Fried Chicken Skin Cracklings (Chicharrones)
- 8 raw chicken skin pieces from thighs or breasts
- salt and pepper
- seasoning of your choice
- I struggled finding nutritional information for chicken skin from one thigh or chicken breast as sizes vary. I did find information per 1 ounce (28 g) of chicken skin, so that is what I used to calculate nutritional information for this snack. Actually, the serving size is 2 pieces of skin, but the actual food weight will vary depending size.
- Preheat oven to 400 F and place rack to middle position. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the chicken skin from the thighs or chicken breasts. Trim any large pieces of fat from the edges with a knife. Scrape away any extra fat or skin on the underside of the skin.
- Dry the skins completely on paper towels and stretch out onto the parchment paper in a single layer.
- Season lightly with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning. Go easy because the chicken skin will shrink (as much as 50%) as it cooks, concentrating the seasoning. The chicken skin will fry in its own fat.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until browned and crisp. They should be a deep golden brown, a little darker than the photos. Remove from the pan and drain excess fat on paper towels.
- Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Place on a sheet pan in a 350 F oven for several minutes to re-crisp if needed.
- Makes 8 oven fried chicken skin chips. Nutritional Info: per 1 ounce/28g: Calories: 126g, Fat: 12g, Carbs: 0, Protein: 4.5, NET CARBS: 0