Spiced crispy chicken skin

Shatteringly crisp, melt-in-the-mouth and with a gentle curry kick, these chicken skin shards – think spiced pork crackling – are so easy to make and are insanely moreish.

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I make these often, usually to serve with drinks, but sometimes just to snack on.

Sometimes I just add salt, at other times I go for a mixture of spices (smoked paprika with a little salt and sugar works especially well), but I love going for a gentle curry vibe: they are particularly good served with some good mango chutney.

Adding the spices prior to cooking gives the best depth of flavour – as long as the skins don’t cook until they become blackened! – but you can lightly dust salt or other spices in top, too, once cooked if you prefer.

I was delighted to have had the opportunity to make a non-spiced version of these in the Final of Britain’s Best Home Cook (series 1): having Mary Berry munching on these, post-judging, was a joy to behold!

No waste!

This is a GREAT way to use up chicken skin from chicken portions: the skin so often gets thrown away, which is such a shame as you have the most sublime snack imaginable.

Gentle cooking for perfect crispness

The trick is to cook these for 30-40 minutes in a medium-hot oven: not too hot, or they burn and go bitter. This is far better than cooking in a pan on the hob, not least as you can get more in and it is easier to just leave it.

Laying a baking tray on top of the skins keeps them from curling up, so you get flat skins which, in turn, helps them go crispy.

Recipe: spicy crispy chicken skins

  • 8 chicken thigh or breast skins: just pull them off the breast, thighs or drumsticks – it doesn’t matter if they tear
  • 2 sheets of greaseproof paper
  • 2 baking sheets, ideally the same same
  • a gentle spinkling of sea salt
  • a few teaspoons of curry powder
  • grated zest of 1 lemon

(1) Preheat the oven to 170C (fan) and base-line two baking sheets with greaseproof.

(2) Rub the curry powder and lemon zest over the chicken skins and place them onto the baking trays.

(3) Lay another sheet of greaseproof over the chicken skins and place a baking tray on top: this ensures the skins cook flat. You can either leave them for several hours or so to allow the flavours to penetrate the skin a little, or cook them immediately.

(4) Place in the oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes, checking after about 20 minutes, until deep golden and crisp. Spoon off the excess fat and use for roast potatoes, or for general frying.


Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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