Friday was a surprisingly great Ask The Chef.. We had no idea what to expect from Mark Singleton, the president of Southern Recipe Pork Rinds. The PR company was not really forthcoming with press materials for him, so when he called it was like being on the trapeze without a net. We had his name and his company, and that was it.
Just coincidentally, we picked up two bags of pork rinds from the office at the old station as part of the things collected over thirty years there. Obviously the pork rinds were not old, but at some point they must have been sent. I wasn’t even sure it was the same company when we did the interview.
The company has been around since 1955, but Mark said business has increased by 55 percent in the last few years. I told him that’s because pork rinds are “hip”, and everything and everyone wants to be hip. He says it’s because of the keto diet, which is protein-based. Fat is good now, and pork rinds are gluten-free, keto-friendly, and just plain fun. I told him I was shocked to see such a low-down snack in A-list places alongside smoked fish dips and other trendy gourmet dishes.
I was unconvinced of the viability of pork rinds, until I tried them seriously. Then I coukdn’t stop snacking on them. They are crunchy and salty, and really do make good dippers. Then Mark explained what other uses of pork rinds are out there. I was especially intrigued when he gave me a simple recipe for oven fried chicken.
I tried it over the weekend. It was spectacular! I can’t wait to do it again. Mark said to use pork rinds whenever bread is called for.
I crunched up two bags of pork rinds, a kimchi barbecue flavor and a pineapple ancho chili flavor. The rinds had to be a meal like flour.
The recipe is below;
1 chicken cut into pieces.
4-6 cups ground pork rinds
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 Convect or bake.
Marinate the chicken in beer and buttermilk mixture for a few hours.
Crunch pork rinds into a meal coating
Scramble eggs to make an egg wash.
Dredge chicken in pork rinds, making sure to coat evenly and well.
Place on a baking sheet and bake until crunchy.
Bake until obviously done. It will be crunchy and brown surrounded by pork rind grease.
We were shocked by how good this was. The pork rinds made a grease when heated that got into the chicken, keeping it moist and adding a great flavor. We preferred the kimchi to the ancho chili, but both were excellent.
This was a fantastic new discovery to satisfy a craving for fried chicken.
For more pork rind recipes, click here.