Thursday, July 5, 2012

Homemade Chicarron (Pork Rinds)

I was on a mission. I needed to get a pig's earjowls, and some pork butt for the sisig I wanted to make. (Post on that in a few days.) Off I went to Good: Street Food  and Design on Sunday because Danny Johnson, the butcher from Taylor's Market, was going to be butchering a hog and selling the pork. Unfortunately he did not bring the head (although he did have the jowls). Without an ear, I considered alternatives. When he got to skinning the carcass I called out my request, "Can I have the skin?" He was nice enough to give it to me for free.

At home I cut the skin into three so that I could use one section for the sisig. Then it occurred to me I could try my hand making deep fried pork rinds, or chicharron. With a search of various recipes online, I mostly followed the method used by Momofukufor2.com.


pieces in bowl for upcoming sisig
I first boiled the skin for one hour. Then you let it cool before you remove as much fat as possible. I then cut the pieces into smaller ones for the finished product. 

The skin was placed onto a rack and put in an oven at 170 degrees to dehydrate for a few hours.  You should preferably use a dehydrator, but I didn't have one so I tried the oven method. It's supposed to dry it out, but mine was still greasy and moist, although reduced a bit. The oven method wasn't too successful and so I just let that go.

Next was to heat oil to about 400 degrees. I plopped in the rind pieces and they puffed up after a few minutes. Remove to drain on paper towels. Season immediately so the seasoning will stick. I used some Cajun spice on some and some togarashi. and a generous amount of salt. 

I'm happy with the results except for the fact that it made a small amount. I want more! Overall it was pretty easy. Certainly if I can snag some more skin in the future like this, I'll be making it again.
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