Makes 8 to 12 deviled eggs
6 hardboiled eggs, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Hereford prefers Duke’s), 1 heaping teaspoon dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons Louisiana-style hot sauce (Hereford prefers Crystal), plus more to garnish, Juice of ½ lemon, Kosher salt to taste, Fried chicken skins (recipe follows), Freshly cracked pepper to taste, Fresh dill sprigs to garnish|½ pound chicken skin, or skin from 1 whole fryer chicken, 1 onion, quartered, 3 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1¼ cup flour, 1 cup cornmeal, ½ cup finely-ground panko bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon celery salt, Oil for frying, Kosher salt
For Deviled Eggs:|For Fried Chicken Skins:
- Make fried chicken skins: On a cutting board, lay out chicken skin, fat side up (the side that doesn’t have the bumpy texture from where the feathers were plucked). Using a spoon, scrape off all the fat. Removing the fat is key to a crispy end product. Next, place skins in a medium pot and add onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off heat and the let the skins sit for 15 minutes. Next, drain skins and allow them to cool by spreading them flat on a resting rack or a piece of parchment paper. Once skins are cool, they are ready to be fried.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, panko, and seasonings. Dredge cooked chicken skins until fully coated. In a deep skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry skins, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick together, until they reach a golden brown, about 4 minutes. Keep your distance when frying as the skins have a tendency to pop and crackle when they enter hot oil. Remove skins from oil and drain on a paper towel. Season immediately with salt, and reserve until ready to assemble eggs. They last a few hours before losing crispiness.
- Make deviled eggs: Peel hardboiled eggs and cut each in half lengthwise. Remove yolks from whites, and rinse whites in cold water to remove any excess yolk left behind. Press yolks through a fine mesh strainer into a mixing bowl. Next add mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, lemon juice, and salt, trying not to overwork egg yolk mixture. The filling should be slightly fluffy and not loose.
- To serve, arrange eggs on a platter, and using a piping bag or zip-top plastic bag with a snipped corner, fill whites with egg yolk mixture. Garnish with fried chicken skins, a drizzle of hot sauce, freshly cracked pepper, and some torn sprigs of fresh dill.
PRO TIP: Find chicken skin at your local butcher shop (ask for a half-pound). Otherwise, you can buy a whole fryer chicken from the supermarket and remove the skin with a chef’s knife or scissors. Ignore those areas that are especially difficult to remove the skin, as you’ll get plenty for this recipe from the breast, back, and thighs
- From Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf, New Orleans