Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pork Crackle Crumbing Mix: Chicken strips for the hungover person.

Tequila is a harsh mistress. I'm hungover and I'm craving grease.

In my freezer, I've got a buttload of chicken fillets, and a bag of leftover pork crackle crumbing mix.

Pork crackles tend to get a bit of a bad rap. People seem to think it's like just eating lumps of fat out of a bag. However, from what I understand, the reason they're crispy is that the cooking process melts all the fat out of them. The crunchy part you're eating is mostly the protein structure that's left behind.

When ground up, they make an excellent crumbing mix. Just don't sniff the open packet. They do smell quite rank.

You'll need:

  • 2x small packets of plain pork crackles. The kind you get from the vending machine in the pub.
  • 100g of almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of paprika/any other herbs or spices you want to add. Basil or oregano might be nice.
  • Whatever meat you'd like to crumb. Today I'm going with chicken thigh fillet cut into strips.

How to food:

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

You might be able to fudge it with a blender, but you're probably going to need a food processor for this.

Process the two packets of crackles. They should go to nothing very quickly. Don't panic if there's a few little hard bits that just won't disintegrate. They probably won't stick to what you're crumbing anyway.

Tip the porkdust into a good-sized bowl, add the almond meal, garlic powder and paprika. give it a good mix around with a fork and it should look like this:

I didn't bother with coating my chicken strips in egg first before crumbing them. I've found in the past that it doesn't really help the crumb to stick. If anything, it helps the crumb to stick to itself and fall off in great big pieces. Just put a few bits of meat at a time into the bowl of crumb and make sure they're nicely coated.

If you've got crumb mix left over, just bag it up and put it in the freezer to use later. Yes it's already had raw meat touching it, but it's pretty likely that you're only going to use it on raw meat again anyway. It only needs <5 minutes to defrost at room temperature.

From here, you can either shallow fry what you've made, or if you're too wretchedly hungover to stand at the stove and deal with the possibility of oil spitting at you, pop your crumbed goodies on an oiled tray in the oven. Even give the top of your strips a light spray with oil. 40 minutes should be enough to well and truly cook chicken strips through.

I went the oven route. I'm so glad I did, as they turned out lovely and crispy and golden brown, like this:

Carb Count:

Your entire batch of crumb will have about 8g of carbohydrate. And that's a generous estimate.

You can serve this with whatever dipping sauce you want. Just keep in mind sugar's a pretty central ingredient in most commercially available sauces. You can get a low-joule sweet chilli sauce in the Asian section at some supermarkets, or make your own tomato sauce fairly easily.

I served mine with whole egg mayo with finely diced red onion and a dash of lemon juice mixed through.

These get the husband tick of approval. He said they're like chicken nuggets, only better.

1 comment:

  1. Tequila! I'm so proud. :')

    These look really good, definitely gonna give 'em a crack(ling).