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How to Make Chicken Crackling

How to Make Chicken Crackling at home in the oven, as a snack.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Any, Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: chicken, chicken crackling, chicken scratchings
Servings: 1 Person
Calories: 596kcal
Cost: free


  • 1.1 kg Chicken Thighs with skin and bones


Why Choose Chicken Thighs?

  • We believe that the skin on the chicken thigh is perfect for perfect chicken crackling. It's thicker and fattier than the skin on the breast or the leg. With this in mind, buying a whole chicken for this would be a bit pointless. So, we decided to use the 1.1kg Morrisons Chicken Thighs with bones and skin for this recipe.

Cook the Chicken Thighs

  • Cook the chicken thighs in the oven at 180 degrees Celcius. Don't overcook them. You want the chicken to be cooked through but remain moist because you will be using the chicken meat for another dish. You don't want to make the chicken skin crispy yet. We have classed the cooking of the chicken skin as 40 minutes of 'preparation', lol.

Rest the Chicken

  • Let the cooked chicken rest for a short while to cool down. This way you won't burn your fingers peeling the skin.

Peel the Chicken

  • Remove as much of the chicken skin from the thighs and place to one side.

You don't have to use the skin straight away

  • We decided to freeze the skin as we wanted to make the chicken crackling another day. So we put it in a take-away container and popped it in the freezer.

The big day arrives

  • All you need is an oven-proof container/dish. The size DOES make a difference. Too big and the pieces will not sit in enough fat to cook nicely. Too small and the pieces will not cook evenly. So choose a dish that's just right. You will need a fork for later when turning the pieces during cooking.

Thaw the Chicken Skin

  • Chicken skin is so thin that it only takes about 10 minutes to completely thaw.

Cut up the Chicken Skin

  • Cut the chicken skin into strips between 1 and 2 cm thick. As long as you like. This really doesn't matter, but it's the size we like.
  • You can see that the skin forms a single layer over the bottom of the dish.


  • Add salt and black pepper now rather than at the end. You will use less salt and get a better even covering.


  • On one version of this recipe, we tried to add sunflower oil to give the skin a more even cook, but it tainted the flavour so we don't add any additional oil. If you do want to add some, we suggest using the dripping that came off the chicken during your original cooking of the thighs.

Pop it in the Oven

  • 180 degrees Celcius seems just about right. any hotter and we find that you get some burnt bits, and colder and the skin doesn't crisp up as much.

Get it out

  • After 15 minutes, take out the dish and give the pieces a stir. You can see the skin starting to cook.

Get it out again

  • After another 15 minutes, take out the dish again and give the pieces a stir. You can see the skin starting to crisp up.

Finished Cooking

  • Pick out the pieces from the dish with a fork or some tongs. Put them on some kitchen towel to absorb the excess fat. Pour the fat from the dish into a small pot to cool. You can dispose of this correctly after it has cooled. Don't pour the fat down the sink, it's not a good idea.

Looking Good

  • You can see that the pieces are a lovely golden brown and are evenly cooked all over.

Looking Really Good

  • Put them in a small dish. We add the smallest of sprinkles of salt which just adds to the flavour.


We estimate 596 KCalories per 100g based on the information found on the back of a bag of plain sea salt chicken crackling from https://www.chickencrackling.com/
We are not nutrition experts.