First of all with this recipe you have to be old enough to even know what “cracklins” are.. We are so grateful to Wise Geek for giving a great definition of what cracklins are and how to cook them properly. After know the basics of making the cracklins the rest if fairly simple since it’s just like making homemade cornbread.
Cracklins, or cracklings, are pieces of pork fat and skin that have been deep fried so that they turn crispy and golden. There are numerous preparation techniques for this food, with slightly different end results, ranging from very heavy, greasy chunks to light, fluffy pork skins. Typically, communities that continue to raise and slaughter their own pigs will also produce cracklins, which are sometimes treated as regional delicacies. It is also sometimes possible to find them at a market or butcher’s, depending on where a person lives.
To make cracklins, fatty cuts of pork are first sliced into very small pieces. They usually include part of the skin, a thick layer of fat, and a small amount of meat, although meat is excluded in some regions of the world. Before the cracklins are cut, the skin is usually seared to remove any leftover hair. Once the pork has been cut up, it is lowered into a large vat that has a small layer of fat in the bottom and then cooked at a high temperature.
As the cracklins cook, the fat renders out, slowly filling the pot with lard. The lard in turn deep fries the remaining skin and meat, turning it into crispy curls of golden pork. Once the cracklins turn a rich gold color, they are removed from the vat and allowed to drain. The remaining rendered lard can be allowed to cool and then packaged for future use.
As you might imagine, cracklins are not very good for you. They are quite high in fat, because although the fat renders out during the cooking process, they are deep fried, after all. Well made ones manage to be relatively dry, without an unpleasant greasy texture, but they are still high in fat and often high in sodium as well, as they are typically salted after frying. Cracklins may also be seasoned with things like hot pepper flakes or herbs, depending on regional taste; these additions do not generally impact the nutritional value.
Source: Wise Geek
For those of you that use pork for cracklins more power to you, but if you really want to have some really good cracklins it’s better to use chicken fat/skin for the cracklin. You will thank yourself later for switching it up a little.
Place butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, and heat in a 425° oven 4 minutes.
Combine cornmeal and flour in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.
Stir together buttermilk, eggs, and cracklings; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Pour over melted butter in hot skillet.
Bake at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
*1 cup cooked, crumbled bacon (12 to 15 slices) may be substituted for cracklings.
Source: My Recipes