Pig Skin: Chicharrones from Huauchinango Mexican Grill
|Chicharrones quesadillas surrounded by tomatillo salsa.|
This week: Pig Skin (Chicharrones) served up by Huauchinango Mexican Grill.
The Ick Factor: While fried chicken skin has made the jump into finger lickin' territory, humble pork skin has been left behind to fry in convenience store hell. The only introduction most people have to pork skin is in fried pork rind form, also known as chicharrones, which leave greasy fingers and a heavy heart. And not figuratively-- those things are loaded in fat!
For years they've been the perfect choice of late night drunken munchers, but what you may not realize is that the skin from those fatty rinds is often prepared in a different fashion south of the border. In addition to frying up these cracklin' pork skins, chicharrones are also stewed until soft and gelatinous. And you though gelatinous eats went out of style in those mid-century modern cookbooks (jellied tongue anyone?).
(bite into all the juicy details after the jump)
|Biso- Wikimedia Commons|
|Chicharrones in the raw.|
Tastes Just Like: Jellied pork. The soft stewed chicharrones were reminiscent of their fried porky bretheren, with a light pork flavor that was a bit on the musky side. This may be due in part to the spicy, earthy, tomato-based flavors infused in the chicharrones from stewing.
|Iván Martínez- Wikimedia Commons|
|The more familiar fried chicharrones.|
You Know It's Cooked Improperly When: If the chicharrones are not stewed long enough, they runs the risk of possibly being more tough and rubbery than expected. Similar to all the other stewed skin you have peeled off of chicken in the past.
Always Been a DIY-er? Hit up a Mexican market and walk away with some pork skin, or if you're feeling really fancy, pork belly. The skin to fat to meat ratio in pork belly could make some mighty fine stewed chicharrones.
Know of some offal we have to try? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.