Salted Egg Chicken Crackling (Chicharon)
By Joan Paula Genson-Zanoria, Founder, Macology101 Food Station
Chicken crackling (or chicharon in Filipino) uses chicken skins coated in salted egg yolk seasoning. It delivers a spice kick with three types of chilli in a twist to salted egg yolk fish skins and potato chips. Equally addictive, savour the salted egg chicken chicharon Filipino style with vinegar.
Total time: 20 minutes
A: Chicken Chicharon
500g chicken skin, cleaned and scraped free of meat
240g plain/all-purpose flour
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
B: Salted Egg Yolk Seasoning
3 salted duck egg yolks, around 50g each
2½ teaspoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt, preferably Himalayan pink salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of chili flakes
Pinch of paprika
20g milk powder, full fat or skimmed
100g butter, unsalted
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves, stalks removed
D: To Fry Chicharon
1 litre coconut oil
Apple-cider or white vinegar, optional
1. Using kitchen towels, pat dry chicken skin and cut into bite-size pieces.
2. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Dip chicken skin into the dry mixture. Coat evenly.
3. Heat up coconut oil in a deep saucepan or wok over high heat. To test if the oil is hot enough, stick 1 chopstick or skewer into the oil. When the oil starts to sizzle around the chopstick, it is ready.
4. Fry chicken skin until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Set them aside.
5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine B ingredients (salted egg yolk, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili flakes and milk powder) except curry leaves.
6. Place butter in a deep saucepan, let it melt over high heat. Toss in curry leaves and fry until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Set them aside.
7. Add salted egg mixture into the saucepan. Using a whisk, whip until smooth. Remove from heat. Tip in fried chicken skin. Work quickly to toss them in salted egg sauce until evenly coated.
8. Transfer chicharon to a serving plate. Top with fried curry leaves. Serve with a drizzle of apple-cider or white vinegar, if desired.
TIP: When cooking the sauce, the right timing is crucial to ensure the egg yolk doesn’t burn. It should be golden yellow and not brown.
TECHNIQUE: When whisking salted egg mixture into the butter, the idea is to incorporate as much air as possible to get a smooth, creamy sauce.
Salted egg yolk sauce is also equally tasty with potato chips and deep-fried fish skin.
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