This is a down-home recipe for Southern-style chitterlings or chitlins as they are commonly referred to.
Chitlins (pork intestines), along with hog maws (pork stomach), are favorites among many Southern families year-round but especially for the holidays and is often categorized as soul food.
This delicacy can be eaten boiled and served simply over rice, or boiled, breaded, and fried as in this recipe.
- 2 pounds chitterlings
- For Boiling:
- 2 large onions (chopped)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- Optional: other seasonings as desired
- For Breading and Frying:
- 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup cracker crumbs (fine)
- 3 cups canola oil (or amount needed for deep frying)
Clean the Chitterlings
- Soak the chitterlings in cold water in one side of your sink and use the other side for rinsing. Examine each one thoroughly, removing all foreign matter by hand under running water.
- Repeatedly pick clean the chitterlings under running water, removing any fat and specks that you see.
- Once you have cleaned a chitterling, place it in a clean bowl or another container. Repeat.
- After all the chitterlings have been cleaned, they must be rinsed in several changes of cold water. Fill one side of the sink with enough water to cover the chitterlings. Then rinse in running water on the other side of the sink, repeating two or three more times until the water runs clear or nearly clear.
- Once they have been cleaned, make sure to disinfect any surfaces, including your hands, that have come in contact with the chitterlings.
Boil the Chitterlings
- Place the cleaned chitterlings in a large pot with 4 to 5 cups of water or enough to cover them by at least 2 inches.
- Add onions, bay leaves, salt, pepper, garlic, and optional seasonings as desired.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 2 hours or until chitterlings are tender, adding more water if necessary.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the water and drain in a colander until cool enough to handle.
Bread and Fry the Chitterlings
- In a small bowl, beat egg with 1 tablespoon water and set aside.
- Spread cracker crumbs on a pieced of waxed paper and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 370 F.
- While the oil is heating, cut the boiled chitterlings into pieces about the size of oysters. Dip each piece into egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, and then roll in the cracker crumbs.
- Fry in oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve while hot with vinegar, hot sauce, rice, collard greens, and cornbread.