The slight bitterness of the skins is matched by an assertive brown sugar-spice mix and the smokiness of the bacon. You can tell these chips are done when the bacon aroma becomes unmistakable.
Make Ahead: Raw potato peelings should be held in water to keep them from turning brown. Drain and dry as much as possible before baking.
- Skin peelings from 4 medium russet potatoes (with a thin layer of flesh)
- 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat, liquefied and warm (may substitute olive oil, which does not have to be warm)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 teaspoons teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (may substitute 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven; preheat to 400 degrees. Line a serving plate with a few layers of paper towels.
Place the peelings in a mixing bowl. Drizzle the bacon fat over them and toss to coat.
Combine the sugar (to taste), salt, paprika, pepper and thyme (to taste) in a small bowl. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the peelings and toss to coat. Spread the peelings on the hot baking sheet in a single layer, skin side down. Sprinkle with the remaining spice mixture; roast for about 12 minutes, until the skins start to get crisp and browned. Use a spatula to stir them around to promote even crisping, then roast for 3 to 6 minutes.
Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate. Serve right away.
Adapted from "Root to Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable," by Tara Duggan (Ten Speed Press, 2013).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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