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How To Make Chicken Cracklings

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Chicken cracklings are incredibly easy to make, delicious and are virtually zero-carb. In fact, most of the pleasure of eating roast chicken comes from the crispy and flavourful skin.

If you often make shredded chicken and chicken stock like I do, making chicken cracklings is a great way to use the skins.

They go great with dips such as Guacamole or Marinara sauce. My favourite way to use them is as "croutons" in salads and soups. Chicken cracklings are also perfect for those who can't eat pork cracklings!

Note: Nutrition values are estimated, the fat & protein content may vary.

Hands-on Overall

Serving size 1 oz/ 30 g cracklings

Allergy information for How To Make Chicken Cracklings

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, 1 oz/ 30 g cracklings)

Net carbs0 grams
Protein4.5 grams
Fat12 grams
Calories126 kcal
Calories from carbs 0%, protein 14%, fat 86%
Total carbs0 gramsFiber0 gramsSugars- gramsSaturated fat3.3 gramsSodium23 mg(1% RDA)Magnesium4 mg(1% RDA)Potassium48 mg(2% EMR)


  • chicken skins from at least 2 chickens, ideally 3-4, weight varies based on size
  • Optional: seasoning of choice: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic or onion powder, chili powder, dried herbs, etc.


  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C/ 350 °F (fan assisted), or 195 °C/ 380 °F (conventional). Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper and have another piece of parchment paper ready to cover the chicken skins.
  2. First, you'll need to skin the chicken. Loosen the skin by placing your fingers underneath and gently lifting it up. Make shallow cuts round the joints where the wings and drumsticks are attached to the body and lift / peel the skin off.
    How To Make Chicken Cracklings
  3. Remove the skin from the breast and the back of the chicken and cut as needed. I usually freeze the skin until I have just enough to make the cracklings - use skin from 2-4 chickens at a time. If you store the skins ion the freezer, defrost and pat-dry before making the cracklings. How To Make Chicken Cracklings
  4. Then, remove the remaining skin from the thighs and wings. You won't be able to remove all the skin from the wings - that's fine. Use the skinned chicken for making soups, chicken stock, shredded chicken or for roasting.
    How To Make Chicken Cracklings
  5. Pat dry the skins using a paper towel. Lay the skins on the parchment paper in a single layer, season with salt and spices to taste and top with another piece of parchment paper. This will help the skins get crispy without burning. Place in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. When done, there will be excess fat on the parchment paper - you can probably reuse it but I just bin it. How To Make Chicken Cracklings
  6. Try with Guacamole, Marinara sauce, soured cream or your favourite cheese dip. How To Make Chicken Cracklings

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 1 oz/ 30 g cracklings)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Chicken skins - used for cracklings
0 g4.5 g12 g126 kcal
Total per serving, 1 oz/ 30 g cracklings
0 g4.5 g12 g126 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (43)

If you talk to your local butcher,  he will probably be happy to sell or give you chicken skin.

It appears that you oven bake raw chicken skins. I just boiled some raw thighs with the skin on. Can you save the cooked skins and then bake or fry with seasonings?

Yes you can! The texture will be a little different (kind of more fragile) and it will take a little longer to dehydrate (more water) but will taste just as great!

Hi.  Please help!
Can I grind the crackling up to then use as a coating for chicken like breadcrumbs?  This is done a lot with pork panko, but I can't eat pork, but also not keen on almond flour and whey.
Thank you!

Yes, these can be crushed and used just like crushed pork rinds! 😊

H thank you so much! Will try

This looks more like chicken crisps or chips. Not real chicken cracklin'.

Thank You so much for this recipe & info.   I have been trying to find the nutritional values for a very long time !  

Hi Abby, check out our app, there's a lot more and it's free to download:

Martina, my wife also has Hashimoto's.  Did you find that it went away with the lifestyle change?

Hi Mark, I don't think that any autoimmune disease can go away completely because the damage to the organ (in this case the thyroid) seems to be irreversible, unless it's caught at the beginning. The issue with Hashimoto's is that it's always diagnosed when there already is a damage.
What changing my diet did for me is that I no longer experience the symptoms and my antibody count dropped to almost normal levels.

Quick question.  Can these be crushed up and used in recipes that require crushed pork rinds for breading?  If I made some can I store them crushed and if so how long would they last? There are so many recipes I would love to try but since I don't eat pork I feel I am missing out.  Thanks so much.  Thank you so much for all your efforts in helping us live the Keto Lifestyle.

Absolutely! They are also great as seasoning. They should last for up to about 4 months (similar to beef jerky). I just crush them with some sea salt and sprinkle over eggs and cooked veggies 😊

Slow pan fry is much better. You get to keep the chicken fat.

I agree.  I put mine on a sheet in the oven, no parchment.  Poured the fat off into silicone candy molds to solidify.  Pop them out of the molds and keep in freezer.  Same with bacon fat.  Eggs cooked in chicken fat are delicious.

I have been fortunate enough to get the butcher at my local grocery store to save the chicken skins for me when they have a sale on the skinless split chicken breast. Yay me! Free chicken skin!

I took the skins off the thighs that just cooked in the instapot. I put them in a frying pan on medium, added some sweet potato skins, and Trader Joe's Chili Lime seasoning and salt. I fried them until they got crispy. So good.

I don't bother with the 2nd sheet of parchment paper on top and it wasn't necessary when I made them though I only used the skin from chicken thighs. I turned the skins often and drained off the fat as it rendered off. A bit fiddly but worth it. 😊

Yummy and easy. Used to throw away the skin, no more!

Omg these are too awesome. Problem is they're addictive.  Don't last long enough to cool for storage. I keep looking for a supplier but I always end up buying the chicken. Maybe that's a good thing!  

They are super addictive! 😊

FreshCracklings website sales cracklings

We have a standing order for chicken skins with local organic butcher. 2# a month. Going to increase that to 4# 😋

You're so lucky, I wish I could do that! 😊

How should these be stored and how long? Thanks!

I store them in an airtight container for up several weeks - they have to be properly dehydrated or otherwise stored in the fridge. I'm not sure about the shelf life but we usually eat them within just a few days 😊

I love to make huge batches at a time. Once they're cooled I'll store them in the freezer in a ziploc bag and pull out a couple at a time for snacking. They're great eaten directly from the freezer, left to warm up a bit at room temp or heated in a frying pan.

How did you find out the nutrition information on this? it looks right but im tryin to be as precise as possible. i dont want to eat too many of these goodies and go over

Hi Jeff, I used average value by comparing several products and also what I found in the USDA database. The nutrition facts can vary as some bits may have more fat on. This is "zero-carb" so it won't matter if you don't get the nutrients 100% accurate 😊

Last week I saw my local butcher removing the skin of 2 or 3 chickens for another client. I asked what was the plan for it and he said he would throw it away. He knew why I was asking, so he just gave me all of it, for free. The other client looked at me like I had seven heads. Thanks to your recipes there is no waste of chicken in my house! From skin to bones, we use all of it.

Oh I know what you mean!! That's how people look at me when I get my chicken and pork skins every month 😊))

Ditto for bones.
Bones, with a little bit of leftover meat and fat on them make the greatest stock! No need to waste them!
And by the way: Try deep-frying chicken skin and bones with the maximum ratio of chicken to oil (so in  very small pot). You will get intensely chicken-flavored oil.
You can then use a syringe, and inject that oil into the dry or bland parts of the chicken, like the breasts, to make them much more flavorful and juicy!
Heston Blumenthat does that too. 😊

good blog

LOVE the recipe! Or if you prefer you could spend for years getting into bags!!

Thank you, glad to see there are some quality cracklings!

I just fry them up in a cast iron pan, no oil. I WISH they would make it more than 30 seconds out of the pan!!! to make into something else, dip, croutons etc.
My kids SCARF these while they whimper cuz theyre so hot from the pan lol
These are KetoCrack!

I can imagine - it's the best part of chicken! 😊

Chicken skin nachos?

Oh yes! 😊

oh,...I will have to try this! Thanks for posting. Looks awesome!

Hope you like it Shelly! 😊

Love these but they went soft in the fridge. Is it possible to keep them crisp. Did I do something wrong?

Hi Edith, it helps to let them cool down to room temperature and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge.