From Cook's Country
With a perfectly seasoned skillet and some rendered pork skin, anybody can enjoy this southern classic. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ingredients or the equipment, and store-bought pork rinds are a laughable stand-in. To create makeshift cracklings for our Cracklin’ Cornbread, we tried everything from salt pork (too salty and tough) to Fritos fried in bacon grease (just wrong), and eventually settled on fried bacon. To keep the cornbread crunchy, we removed it from the skillet shortly after it was done. This way it didn’t steam and soften while it sat in the warm skillet.
For the crunchiest crust, bake the cornbread in a cast-iron pan. Avoid coarsely ground cornmeal, which will make the cornbread too gritty. See related Quick Tip for information about seasoning cast-iron skillets.
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