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Old 01-23-2014, 03:09 PM   #1
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Homemade chicharrones?

Have you made them?

According to Auntie Google, there are several different ways to make them, and I'm not sure which to follow. What method did you use, and why?
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:13 PM   #2
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I have not made them, but I'm psyched to hear about your experience.

Are you going to cook them outside? I'd like to try making them, but I worry that if I cooked them in my little apartment it would stink everything up too much.
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:37 PM   #3
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I haven't yet either!

But we watched a Triple D (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) where the chef boiled the skin for a couple hours, then cut into little pieces and dehydrated it for like 24 hours, then popped them into the deep fryer. Boy they looked good. That may be the method I try first unless someone on here has a "tried 'n true" way to do it that sounds easier!
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Old 01-23-2014, 03:47 PM   #4
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I buy the pork rind pellets and have made them in the microwave but also in the oven which I prefer. I've never tried making them from the raw skin but growing up my parents always slaughtered a hog each fall and they rendered the lard and we did have cracklins with the skin still attached but they differ from pork rinds or chicharrones.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaminKY View Post
I buy the pork rind pellets and have made them in the microwave but also in the oven which I prefer.
Pam, I have the pellets also but only have cooked them in the microwave. How long and at what temp do you cook them in the oven? I only do a few at a time so was thinking of using the toaster oven to bake them.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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Pam, I have the pellets also but only have cooked them in the microwave. How long and at what temp do you cook them in the oven? I only do a few at a time so was thinking of using the toaster oven to bake them.
I spread out on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 450 for about 5 minutes. The parchment needs to be able to withstand temps that high and may brown around the edges.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info, Pam. I have thin silicone sheets that I cut to fit my toaster oven pans so I will try a few in it on the silicone.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeloo View Post
I have not made them, but I'm psyched to hear about your experience.

Are you going to cook them outside? I'd like to try making them, but I worry that if I cooked them in my little apartment it would stink everything up too much.
Nope, I'm going to make them inside.

I found one that called for cutting, seasoning, and slow-roasting them for several hours, and then deep-frying. I might try that one.

But there are several that say to render them in water, and then as the water finally boils off, they'll cook in their own fat.

Decisions, decisions...
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post

But there are several that say to render them in water, and then as the water finally boils off, they'll cook in their own fat.
This sounds like what you do when you render lard. You fill up the pan with the raw chunks of fat (& whatever skin is attached), add a little water, then slooooooowly cook it until the fat is all liquid and the skin and other bits have turned into cracklings. But in that case, the lard is the product you end up with, and the cracklings are a side benefit.

I saw a show where a fancy restaurant was making little chicharone "croutons".

First, they cut the fat off the skin as best they could, then boiled it for some time.

Then, when cooled, they scraped off the remaining fat and cut the skin into wee little squares.

Then they dehydrated the little squares.

Finally, at service time, they'd fry up the squares in a deep fryer and the'd puff up into adorable little croutons. I remember thinking that it looked delicious, but so much work!
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:50 PM   #10
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Yeah, that's far too much work for me!

Yes, getting both lard and chicharrones at the end is appealing!
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:54 AM   #11
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Found a great recipe from one of my favorite chef's, Kenji Lopez-Alt from seriouseats.com for Chicharrones (I have the belly pieces drying in the fridge now):

Ingredients
1 pound pork belly, skin side rubbed with 2 teaspoons baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt
Water to cover
Salt and pepper to taste
Spices of your choice such as cayenne, sugar, and paprika
Procedures
1
To prepare the belly: Rub the baking soda and salt all over the surface of the skin, taking care to distribute the powder evenly. Set the pork belly on a rack and place it uncovered in the refrigerator for at least an hour but preferably overnight and for up to a day.

2
The next day, rinse the belly in cold water and pat dry. Cut into 1-inch segments, about 1/3-inch thick. Place all the segments of belly into a wok and add enough water to cover the meat.

3
Turn the heat to low. Over the course of 2 to 4 hours, depending on the moisture content of your pork, slowly render the fat from the belly, turning the segments of meat every half hour or so. Keep the heat on low. In the beginning, the water will look like pork stock but over time the water will cook off, leaving only the lard in the pan.

4
When only liquid fat remains in the wok, turn the heat to high and carefully monitor the pieces of belly as they deep-fry in the lard. This last stage of deep-frying should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicharrones to a plate lined with paper towels to blot the extra fat. Toss with salt and your choice of seasonings. The chicharrones will remain crispy for many hours.
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