You Should Definitely Fry Any And All Leftover Chicken Skin

You Should Definitely Fry Any And All Leftover Chicken Skin
Photo: Claire Lower

I have never anyone who doesn’t relish eating the skin off of a roasted chicken. (This includes my mother.) Crispy skin, whether fresh out of the oven or off the Costco rotisserie spit, is one of the highlights of poultry consumption. Those who leave it behind are fools.

If I’m alone, I will often pull all the skin off at once and eat it immediately, but apparently some people find that off-putting. Sadly, once the skin cools in the fridge, it becomes leathery, gummy, and just not so great overall. But if you’re stuck with slimy leftover skin, you can give it a new—dare I say better?—life by frying it.

Fried skin of any kind is delicious, but the fried skin of an already cooked chicken is something special. It has already been cooked once, so much of the fat has been rendered and the collagen melted, so it crisps up easily and quickly. It’s also usually already seasoned, and those seasonings will become concentrated as the skin fries, shrinking into a perfect chicken chip. Even grey, flabby skin from the bottom of the bird transforms into something golden and crunchy in mere minutes.

Making it is easy. Just (gently) peel any skin off of your cooked chicken and place the pieces in a cold nonstick pan. Set the pan on a burner, turn the heat to medium, and let the pieces cook until they are golden and crispy, flipping once to get both sides (chopsticks work best for this). Transfer to paper towels, salt (if needed) and enjoy in sandwiches or salads, sprinkled on top of pasta or all on their own.

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