Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bacon Kale Chips

Some things just make sense eh? Bacon and Kale go very well together. Also, good quality bacon isn't the cheapest on the shelf. I prefer to buy my bacon from a local source so that I know how the pig was treated. Recently Chipotle took pork off of their menu due to the ethical concerns of how pigs are raised. Between horrible treatment of animals and the questionable ingredients added to bacon I've been playing with making my own. Recipe to come. So if I'm going to go to the effort to source high quality pork, uncured, that doesn't have any nasty chemicals you'd better believe that I'm going to save the bacon fat. Bacon fat is great to cook with. Not only does it have a high smoke point but it also gives amazing flavors to anything you cook in it.

I keep my bacon fat in a mason jar in the refrigerator. For this recipe you'll need to heat the fat slightly. You don't want to turn it into a hot liquid. I popped mine into the microwave for a few seconds. (go in 10 second increments until you achieve the desired consistency) It was still white but was no longer solid.

Here is my bowl of kale chips. It looks a bit empty because I kept eating them while the second and third trays cooked. I wanted crispy chips so I made sure that none of the kale was touching another piece. There weren't many chips on the last tray but I suggest spacing them out instead of overcrowding the chips, no matter how many trips to the oven you have to make.

Bacon Kale Chips

8 kale leaves torn into pieces, stems removed
3T of bacon fat
1/2 t salt

Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. I'd always baked kale chips directly on a piece of parchment on a baking sheet but some parts of the chips came out over cooked from direct contact with the sheet whereas other parts were sometimes soggy. When I cook bacon I put it on a cooling rack over a baking sheet and it comes out perfectly crisp so I decided to give it a try with kale chips.

As you can see below they came out perfectly crisp and not burnt or soggy. The next time I make these I think I'll grind up some cooked bacon into a dust and sprinkle it over the chips before I bake them for an extra bacon kick.