Crispy Pork Skins
Michael Symon's Pork Cracklings
- 1 pound Pork Skin
- 1 Jalapeno (slit down the side)
- 1 Onion (cut in half)
- 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
- 2 Garlic cloves (peeled)
- Peanut Oil (for deep-frying)
- 2 Limes (zested)
- 2 teaspoons Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
- Cut the pork skin into 4 pieces. It will cook more evenly and be easier to clean later on.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 4 quarts water to a simmer. Add the jalapeno, onion, black peppercorns and garlic. Add the skins and cook for 1 hour, or until they are soft and somewhat gelatinous.
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Remove the skins from the water with a slotted spoon and put onto a large plate. Discard the liquid. Let the skins cool in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes so they will be easier to handle.
- Put one of the pieces on a cutting board skin-side-down. The other side will have bits of meat and fat on it that will have turned white during cooking. With a very sharp chef's knife, slice as much of the meat and fat off as possible, leaving only a thin piece of skin. Be careful not to slice into the skin beneath. The cleaner you get the skin, the crispier the crackling will be when fried. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
- Arrange the skins on a parchment-paper-lined sheet tray and put in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Flip the skins and continue cooking for 1 1/2 hours or until the skins are completely dry. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- When cool enough to handle, scrape off any remaining bits of fat and meat. The back of a knife works well for this. At this point, the cracklings an be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- Mix together the salt, lime zest and paprika.
- Heat about 4 inches of oil in a deep-fryer or pot to 350ºF. Break the cracklings into small, inch-sized pieces. Fry in batches for 30 to 45 seconds, until crisp and puffy. Remove from the oil and season with the paprika salt. Serve immediately.