Photos: Matt Cardy/Getty Images (top left), Kevin Pang

My kid just turned 2, and we decided to order fried chicken for his party. It required little work on my part, it was cheap, and a crowd-pleaser. As always, I overestimated the appetite of our guests, and we ended up with two buckets worth of leftover KFC. My brother-in-law Nick and I were then discussing ways of repurposing leftover fried chicken, and one thought led to another, and soon Nick suggested there should be a fried chicken potato chip flavor.

Within two minutes—and I literally meant that quickly—I dug up the food dehydrator that’s been sitting dormant for at least eight years (yes, in the middle of my son’s birthday party). I peeled off the skin from eight pieces of chicken, and carefully laid the crispy-on-one-side, flaccid-on-the-other pieces onto the drying rack. I set the dehydrator to 145 degrees and left it alone. I didn’t even know what I planned on doing with the skin; all I knew was that I would remove all excess moisture and fat in the dehydrator, freeze it, then pulverize in a food processor into a powder.

Eight hours later, the chicken skin hadn’t completely dried out—it was still plenty oily—but it had become chip-like in texture. My thinking was freezing this would give it the best chance to grind into the smallest pieces possible.

A few days later, I pulled out the frozen dehydrated shards of fried chicken skin, which I kept in an air-tight freezer bag to prevent the oils from absorbing surrounding flavors. I threw them in a food processor and pulsed the pieces.

I quickly realized the friction from the blade was a source of heat, and therefore, the frozen chicken skin was quickly melting and leeching oil. The second issue: My dream of pulverizing into a fine powder would not be happening. They were turning into a Bacon Bits-like consistency, large enough to still be crunchy.

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So it wouldn’t do much good sprinkled on potato chips or popcorn. But what if I treated it as a breadcrumb? Like a gratin topping, layered over a casserole and broiled? My first thought went to mashed potatoes. Then I considered some sort of ooey-gooey casserole that could benefit from a crunchy element. But what I ultimately had on hand was leftover mac ‘n’ cheese. So I spooned some into a Corningware casserole dish, and topped some of that KFC chicken skin crumbs.

Photo: Kevin Pang

The result? It was certainly indulgent. There was no semblance of subtlety or refinement; it was, as my wife noted, “a fat kid’s food.” Remembering that this was still chicken skin, even a little mixed in with mac ‘n’ cheese left something slick on my tongue. But was it delicious? Hell yeah, but truth be told, I could only take a few bites before I backed away.

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There’s a restaurant here in Chicago near my office called GT Fish & Oyster, and one of their many terrific dishes is a grilled fish taco topped with chicharron powder. Now this is a smart way to use chicken skin crumbles—the rich counterpoint to something acidic and light, and in small quantities. And so I turn to you, Takeout commentariat: How would you use crispy ground-up pieces of fried chicken skin? I mean, besides packing it in my cheeks like a chipmunk?

Make It Till You Fake ItIn **Make It Till You Fake It**, _The Takeout_ writers try to recreate a magical dish they saw somewhere, then reflect on whether their valiant attempt was a success or failure.