Photo: Jen Causey, Food Styling, Rishon Hanners, Prop Styling: Lindsey Lower
The perfect fried pork skins can be actually be made at home with this deliciously crispy, spicy, and flavorful appetizer item. To make things easier, you can prep the skins ahead of time and cover in an airtight container to fry them when you're ready. While this recipe is more of a labor of love, it tastes better that way, and also acquiring properly sourced pork skins is a must for some truly exceptional flavor.
1. Place pork skin in a large pot, and cover with water. Weigh down skin with a heatproof plate to keep it fully submerged. Bring water to boil over high, and cook until skin is soft and pliable, but not falling apart, about 2 hours.
2. Carefully remove skin from pot, and arrange in an even layer, with no folds, on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Chill, uncovered, until completely cool, about 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 175°F. Using a sturdy heavy spoon or bench scraper, scrape and remove all fat under skin, being careful not to tear the skin. Place scraped skin on a wire rack on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until skins are dehydrated, dry, brown and brittle, about 8 hours.
4. Stir together chile powder, cumin, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
5. Pour oil to a depth of 4 inches in a Dutch oven, and heat to 400°F. Break dried skins into about 1-inch pieces. Fry skin pieces in hot oil, 3 at a time, prodding pieces until skins puff up and turn crispy, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels; sprinkle with chile powder mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining skin pieces. Serve immediately.