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Chicken Skin Candy ... get it now, all the kids are doing it!

Ever eat fried chicken and wonder, "why can't I just have the crispy skins?"

Better yet, ever eat chicken 'n waffles and wonder the same thing? "Why can't I just have the skins with the syrup?"

Well, I'm here for you.

I took a handful of uncooked chicken skins (literally a handful), soaked them in a marinade of equal parts chocolate syrup, soy sauce and Chinese hoisin sauce for about an 1 hour refrigerated, then took them out and laid them flat on a baking sheet. Popped them into a preheated 350 F oven, baked until nice and browned and crisp, and voila Chicken Skin Candy!

Results? Oh ... my ... god.

It was like munching on the result of an Alton Brown's science experiment that fused the DNA from some bacon candy with the genetic material from Chicharrones.

It's sweet, yet nice and bitter salty, with a good tang from the Hoisin sauce. Plus, you know what? It's sort of healthy for you b/c it's baked!

The possibilities are endless I'd imagine. If I can just get my hands on enough bulk chicken skins (which is rather difficult where I live), I can use Chicken Skin Candy -- aside from munching on them like potato chips -- as croutons, crumbled into corn bread batter and even in my french toast batter ....

Happy cooking.

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  1. There is only one thing that we can do in the wake of your experiment. We must create the "Nobel Feast Prize" and award it to you, you freakin' genius.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau

      +1 and 2

      Oh... My... God indeed. This sounds incredible.

      I'm still giggling about ... "It's sort of healthy for you b/c it's baked!"
      Yay! It's good for me!

    2. Love it! Just can't figure out which I am more in awe of: Your creative ability or your ability to rationalize. "Healthy?" Your fingers to God's ears! LOL! '-)

      1. Mmmmmmm.....please let me know if you come up with a variation which includes sausage, Tabasco and maple syrup--my personal favorite combo along those lines!

        1. I've done this minus the marinade. If you can believe it, I think it was Ilan on Top Chef who I first saw that cooked a chicken skin 'chip' as a garnish. The candy thing sounds really good. This is why I always buy bone-in, skin on chicken thighs. So far, the skins have mostly gone into the stockpot, no longer.

          3 Replies
          1. re: John E.

            Ilan has a crispy chicken skin sandwich -GLT (gribenes, lettuce, tomato) at his restaurant.

            1. re: John E.

              i think it was actually Hung in the season after that. He was making a healthy fried chicken and decided that if he scraped off the fat and just baked the skin up it would be crispy and you'd have the "good" part of fried chicken and not the bad unhealthy part. I don't think Ilan would have thought if that unless it was served at his Spanish restaurant.

              1. re: digkv

                I think you're right. I saw a mention somewhere of Ilan's blt with chicken skin and got my wires crossed. Ilan is Jewish so he's aware of it.

            2. Sounds so good. I do wonder about the chocolate syrup but maybe that isn't much different from doing maple syrup glazed bacon

              14 Replies
              1. re: septocaine_queen

                Experiment with the marinade ... I know I am once I can get my hands on some more chicken skins.

                I just used what was handy and what I thought would make a good sweet-savory mix.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  maybe a herb butter marinade or a sesame and ginger one?

                  I already eat bacon "chips" (bacon cooked in microwave until perfectly rendered and crispy)now I might have to replace with chicken skin "chips"

                  just need to get hands on some chicken skins

                  1. re: septocaine_queen

                    My next batch is going to be maple syrup and Sriracha.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      photos please.

                      Along the same vein, what about a miso and honey?

                      1. re: septocaine_queen

                        Will do with pics as soon as I can get my hands on some more chicken skins, which is turning out harder than it would (or should) seem.

                        RE: miso and honey ... I don't know if the flavor profile is strong enough. Miso is umami goodness but not terribly salty for a nice marinade. But who knows. Let me know what you try.

                        I was thinking I could go totally over the top and dip in some honey and dip the whole thing in some chopped up bacon? Or would that totally jump the shark on the chicken skin candy experiment?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          or just dip in bacon fat for bacon flavored chicken skin

                          For the miso skin how about this recipe I found for miso cod

                          # 1/2 cup light yellow miso
                          # 5 tablespoons rice vinegar
                          # 1/4 cup sugar
                          # 2 tablespoons soy sauce
                          # 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
                          # 1/4 cup vegetable oil

                          1. re: septocaine_queen

                            I would leave out the oil and maybe increase the sugar (or use rock sugar or brown sugar). The skins are oily enough without added fat and you really want to achieve a crispy crunchy texture, and you don't really need to brown them for anything.

                            Also, you need something sort of sticky, or at least viscously tacky, b/c you need it to stick to the skins, they don't really absorb too much of the marinade.

                            I'm thinking of making some caramel to use next time.

                            Good luck.

                        2. re: septocaine_queen

                          Well, attached are my feeble (very feeble) attempts at capturing chicken skin candy.

                          Photo 1: maple syrup and Sriracha.
                          Photo 2: maple syrup, soy sauce and bacon bits

                          I must admit, looking at my photos, they don't look very appetizing.

                          But trust me on this one, the maple syrup and Sriracha was a revelation. Someone should make potato chips from this combo. Give me some of that sauce combo and could down a big box of styrofoam plates.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I wonder if you put the skins on a bed of hot rock salt and cooked them that way, how that would be? or would they pick up too much salt?

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                What if you puree these and use to coat boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Yum.

                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                  Now that's deconstructed food that would make even Wylie Dufresne proud!

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              i was JUST thinking that! because i've made Linda Whit's maple syrup chicken a few times and always add sriracha to it. You just don't stop, do you??!!! Please promise us you'll leave the food portion of your brain to science.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I've been making "Chicharron" in the Turbo for awhile now, using both chicken and pork skin but have never thought of the savory/sweet combo... Genius,sheer genius.

                        3. I grew up with cripsy chicken skin known as gribenes. I cut up the chicken skin in small pieces, and put a little oil in a pan and start rendering it down, when it starts getting light brown I add a ton of chopped onions. and keep it going until the chicken skin and onions are really brown. Then drain the chicken fat, which is schmaltz and great for cooking, and lay the chicken skins and onions on paper towels to dry. Put a little salt on it and it is great.

                          t thought of putting chocolate, but some ot the other stuff might be good.

                          1. "Plus, you know what? It's sort of healthy for you b/c it's baked!"
                            sorry ipse, i can't quite give you that one ;)


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I don't know about that. Consuming chicken skin candy would be a veritable cornucopia of good health, especially if you compare it to eating a bowl full of corn syrup and lard.

                              Not only would it be healthier, I'll bet it even tastes better too. Now I'll have to make some this weekend.

                            2. That sounds disgusting.

                              1. As i was reading down this post I thought, uh-oh, this person is maybe going to unseat ipsedixit as my new Chowhound hero for the hash browns/Filet-o-Fish extravaganza, when, lo and behold - of COURSE, IT'S YOU!! Brilliant!!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  <he hash browns/Filet-o-Fish extravaganza>

                                  link please!

                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                    I don't link (and I don't want to talk about it), but she's talking about the 'Have you ever had a "Mc10:35" at McDonald's?' thread posted by Firegoat, in the Chains section.

                                  2. this was an amazing post, I laughed and salivated and just, gah now i totally want some of this.

                                    1. I can't help but ask -- what would possess you to even think this up?

                                      1. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

                                        1. Oh, this does sound good.

                                          There's a poultry store in Chinatown I go to that regularly sells just chicken wing tips. I buy a whole bunch, season them with salt and pepper and sometimes some powdered garlic and/or paprika, and bake them until they're crispy enough to crunch down whole. I figure they're even healthier because not *only* are they baked but you're getting all the calcium from the bones!

                                          1. "It's sort of healthy for you b/c it's baked!"

                                            I hope people realize I made that statement in half jest, right?

                                            As in, "our chips our baked, not fried like those other guys" ...

                                            Because you know, I could have fried this first batch ...

                                            2 Replies
                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                <I hope people realize I made that statement in half jest, right?>

                                                Love that it was only "half" jest. Hehe.

                                              2. I'm inspired by your maple syrup and sriracha. Really that good?

                                                1. oh yeah....Halloween trick or treaters may be in for a bit of a surprise this year. if there is any left to share.

                                                  1. Well, here's the latest batch ... salt and vinegar with some cinnamon sugar.

                                                    On a rating of 1 to 5 drumsticks (with 5 being best), I'd give this combo a solid 4.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        This was like eating your typical salt and vinegar potato chip chased down with a bite of your favorite burnt sugar cake.

                                                    1. Fried is not unhealthy if you fry at the proper temps.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Candy

                                                        I just wonder how it would turn out fried with all that sugar.

                                                        Maybe need to dredge before frying?

                                                        1. re: Candy

                                                          What are "proper temps"? What makes one temperature healthier or less healthy?