November 12, 2012

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More Thanksgiving Ideas: Turkey Cracklings

Make cracklings. Cracklings are delicious. They add amazing texture and flavor to everything you put them on. We don’t generally endorse eating fatty foods for no reason. And, we definitely think you should use moderation with them. HOWEVER, this is Thanksgiving we’re talking about.

Plus, turkey fat contains palmitoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, that is considered a beneficial fatty acid. It helps the immune system, increases insulin sensitivity, improves lipid metabolism (that’s cholesterol), and thusaddresses obesity.

We solicited ideas from a number of chefs. We found lots of opinions on how to make this work.

Here’s one way to make them:
  1. Roast your turkey.
  2. While the turkey rests, carefully remove the skin you want to use (fattier is better)
  3. So far everyone agrees.
  4. Put the skin on a tray lined with parchment paper
  5. Cover with more parchment paper and weigh it down (this may help it cook more evenly by preventing the ends from curling up and cooking differently)
  6. Put the skin back into the oven at about 300
  7. Watch it carefully to make sure it does not burn
  8. Cook it until it’s starting to become crispy and delicious (probably about 15 minutes)
  9. Remove from oven. They may not be crispy yet. They will crisp up as they rest. You can always put them back in, but you can't unburn them
  10. You did the cooking! Eat some
  11. STOP! Don’t eat all of it!
  12. Use it on top of your vegetables, in your mashed potatoes, under your gravy
Do you need vegetable recipes? Here’s some ideas: creamed kale, roasted brussels sprouts, and/or an autumn salad

Word of caution: if you brined your turkey with sugar, the sugar may burn during this process, so don’t do it.

Note that our Pepper Sauce is nowhere to be found in the above. That’s because we trust that you’re using it elsewhere on your Thanksgiving table in the amount you like. After all, we’re about flavor, not greed.
Special thanks to Chefs Brian Ray and Jef Wright for advice

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