Savor Some Southern Tradition With Crispy Deep-Fried Chitterlings (2024)

Chitterlings, or chitlins, are a classic Southern recipe consisting of pork intestines that can be cooked or fried. Mild in flavor, their bits are a great canvas to work with because they can take on whatever seasonings and cooking method you're using. Often categorized as soul food, chitterlings can be eaten boiled and served simply over rice, or boiled, breaded, and fried as in our recipe. Deep-fried chitterlings are a decadent dish that is common during the holidays, served alongside hog maws—pork stomach—cornbread, rice, hot sauces, vinegar, collard greens, and fried chicken. Not for the faint of heart!

The chitterlings need to be cleaned thoroughly and then boiled for two hours before they are breaded and fried, so plan accordingly. The cleaning process is key to an appetizing meal: chitterlings are famous for their unpleasant smell, and because of their origin, they must be adequately clean to avoid contamination in your kitchen or illness. Nowadays, finding clean and pre-cooked chitterlings is a convenient way of bringing this unusual and tasty ingredient to your table.

Our recipe uses some alliums to boil the chitterlings in before frying, but add to these seasonings any spices or other vegetables that you'd like: bell peppers, carrots, celery stalks, red pepper flakes, parsley, cilantro, or Creole seasoning are great additions.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chitterlings

For Flavoring the Boiling Liquid:

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 clovesgarlic, minced

For Breading and Frying:

  • 1 large egg,lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 cup fine cracker crumbs, or all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups canola oil, for deep frying

Steps to Make It

Clean the Chitterlings

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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  2. Soak the chitterlings in cold water on one side of your sink and use the other side for rinsing. If you don't have a two-sided sink, use a large bowl for soaking and your sink for rinsing.

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  3. Examine each one thoroughly, removing all foreign matter by hand under running water.

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  4. Repeatedly pick clean the chitterlings under running water, removing any fat and specks that you see.

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  5. Once you have cleaned each chitterling, place it in a clean bowl. Repeat the thorough cleaning process with the remaining chitterlings.

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  6. After all the chitterlings have been cleaned, fill one side of the sink, or your bowl, with enough water to cover the chitterlings. Then rinse each under running water, repeating at least 2 to 3 more times until the water runs clear. The more cleaning you do, the better.

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  7. Once all the pieces have been cleaned, make sure to disinfect your hands and any surfaces that have or might have come in contact with the intestines: soap and a bleach-based sanitizer for the surfaces are best.

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Boil the Chitterlings

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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  2. Place the cleaned chitterlings ina large pot with enough water to cover them by at least 2 inches.

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  3. Add the onions, bay leaves, salt, pepper, garlic, and any additional vegetables or seasonings that you might want to use.

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  4. Bring the pot to a boil.

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  5. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours or until the chitterlings are tender. Add more water if necessary.

  6. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chitterlings from the water and drain in a colander until cool enough to handle.

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  7. Cut the chitterlings into 1-inch pieces.

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Bread and Fry the Chitterlings

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the water and set aside.

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  3. Spread the cracker crumbs or flour on a piece of waxed paper and set aside.

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  4. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 370 F.

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  5. Dip each chitterling into the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off.

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  6. Roll each piece in the cracker crumbs. Repeat the egg and crumb process with all the pieces.

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  7. Carefully add the chitterlings into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Fry in batches and don't overcrowd the pan.

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  8. Drain on paper towels.

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  9. Serve hot and enjoy.

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Other Cleaning Methods for Chitterlings

While eating chitterlings is a delicious affair, cleaning them properly is key to a successful dish. Washing them under running water and boiling them properly does eliminate the bacteria and impurities that can cause food borne illness, but other common techniques can also do the trick. No matter how you clean them, the chitterlings must be boiled before frying:

  • After thoroughly rinsing all bits under cold running water many times over, place the chitterlings in a bowl and cover them with water. Squeeze 4 to 6 lemons in the water and add the squeezed fruit as well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Rinse again before cooking.
  • Alternatively, after the rinsing process, cover the chitterlings with water and add 2 cups of lime juice or 4 tablespoons of white vinegar. As indicated above, cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Rinse again before cooking.

Be sure to clean all surfaces that might have been in contact with the chitterlings, your refrigerator included.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Favorite Southern Pan-Fried Chicken

  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Pork Mains
  • Southern Dinner Recipes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
625Calories
56g Fat
11g Carbs
20g Protein

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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories625
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 56g72%
Saturated Fat 16g80%
Cholesterol 422mg141%
Sodium 1185mg52%
Total Carbohydrate 11g4%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 3mg17%
Calcium 66mg5%
Iron 3mg15%
Potassium 135mg3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Recipe Tags:

  • fried pork
  • side dish
  • southern
  • christmas

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Savor Some Southern Tradition With Crispy Deep-Fried Chitterlings (2024)

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