This pork cracklins recipe makes rich chunks of crisp fatty pork or duck. From the great Southern chef Frank Stitt, we can think of dozens of uses for these rich, salty nuggets. Not least of which is just sneaking them from the pan one at a time.
Cracklins are essentially ungodly rich, salty chunks of bacon that are essentially sorta like bacon squared. Or maybe even to the third power. Chef Frank Stitt, a born and bred Southerner who just happens to be an alum of Alice Water’s Chez Panisse and the recipient of countless awards, plops these very cracklins in his corn bread batter. We figure he ought to know. They also make a terrific salty crunch when added to beans, soups, omelets, and more. And, of course, standing at the stove cramming them in your piehole. Mind you, these are different than fried pork rinds, which you’ll find packaged across the country. (And in as many as 14 different flavors in Alabama. We know. We counted.) These are a touch more refined. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to be restrained.–Renee Schettler
- 1 pound Slab bacon* (or substitute duck skin) cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- Cold water
- Place the bacon or duck skin and just enough cold water to cover in a heavy skillet or saucepan and cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat until the fat is rendered, the water has evaporated, and the cracklins are crisp and golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cracklins to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Reserve the remaining fat to make corn bread. [Editor’s Note: Or to make home-fried potatoes. Or fried eggs. Or, well, lots of things.]
*What You Need To Know About Selecting Bacon For CracklinsYou absolutely need to use slab bacon to make cracklins. No thin-sliced bacon here. It simply won’t work.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Oh, these pork cracklins are so simple! I did it with bacon and it was delicious, but I can’t wait to do it with duck skin!!! I was going to just fry the skin, then I saw this recipe and did as directed and it was a much better idea. Use the fat in the skillet to make cornbread, and if you want to rock some worlds, use the cracklins in it. One of those almost “non-recipes” to keep in mind for salad toppings or breakfast toppings (I’m thinking over pancakes?). Have fun!
Originally published October 01, 2013