Chicharon Manok
(Fried Chicken Skin)

Chicharon Manok
(Fried Chicken Skin)

One of the Filipinos’ guilty food pleasures is eating Chicharon. This dish is part of the Spanish influence in our cuisine. This dish is made of deep fried pork rinds with a little bit of salt. Aside from pork, it could also be made from beef or chicken.

There are different kinds of Chicharon: Chicharon Baboy (made of pork skin and fat), Chicharon Bulaklak (made of pork or chicken omentum), Chicharon Bituka (made of pork or chicken intestines) and Chicharon Manok (made of chicken skin). For the more adventurous, there is also the Chicharon Butse which is made of chicken crop.

The Chicharon Manok is also called Chicken Cracklings. It is prepared by boiling the skin with seasoning, sun drying or chilling it, and then deep frying. This dish can be served as an appetizer, viand, snack or brought from a balut vendor as a pulutan, a finger food eaten with alcoholic beverages. It is best dipped in vinegar, soy sauce, chilies. lechon sauce, atchara (pickled papaya) or bagoong (fish paste).

For the health conscious, eating this dish once in a while won’t hurt you. A little over half of the fat in the skin is monounsaturated fat, the heart-healthy kind of fat. The boiling process also releases the fat and it ends up in the boiling water, thus reducing the fat.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Yield: 3-4 servings

1 lb chicken skin, cut into squares
1 small onion, quartered
2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
1 ½ cups water
½ tsp whole peppercorn

Cooking Directions:
1. In a non-stick pot, add the chicken, peppercorn, and onion, then pour in the patis and water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about half an hour, or until the oil has rendered and the skin is tender. Stir occasionally.
2. Allow it to cool then scoop the chicken skin out. Put it in a wide tray and keep in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Discard the rest of the broth but skim the oil that floats on the surface. You will need this for the deep frying later on.
3. Heat the reserved oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Deep fry the chicken skin in batches until they turn light brown or crispy.
4. Drain the oil or put them in a tray lined with paper towel to remove the excess oil.
5. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
6. Enjoy!

Chicharon Manok (Fried Chicken Skin)

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