Deep-Fried Chitterlings

Deep-Fried Chitterlings

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 15 mins
Total: 2 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1373 Calories
141g Fat
11g Carbs
20g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1373
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 141g 181%
Saturated Fat 22g 111%
Cholesterol 422mg 141%
Sodium 1185mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 65mg 5%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 134mg 3%
*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.)

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 black pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 

For Breading and Frying:

  • 1 large egglightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 cup crackers crumbs (or all-purpose flour)

  • 3 cups canola oil, for deep frying

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Clean the Chitterlings

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    chitterlings in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  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.

    Clean the chitterlings in cold water

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    clean the chitterlings

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    clean the chitterlings and remove the fat

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    chitterlings in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  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.

    chitterlings being rinsed

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  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.

    wash hands in the kitchen sink

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Boil the Chitterlings

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for the Chitterling boil

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    Place the cleaned chitterlings in a large pot of water

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    Add the onions, bay leaves, salt, pepper, garlic, and any additional seasonings to the pot with the Chitterlings

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Bring the pot to a boil.

    Chitterlings cooking in a pot of water

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    Chitterlings cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    Chitterlings removed from pot with a slotted spoon

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Cut the chitterlings into 1-inch pieces.

    cut the boiled chitterlings into 1-inch pieces

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Bread and Fry the Chitterlings

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    breading ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    beat the egg with water in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    Spread the cracker crumbs on a piece of waxed paper

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    Heat the oil in a pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    Dip each Chitterling piece into the egg mixture

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    Roll the chitlins in the cracker crumbs

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    Chitterlings cooking in a pot of oil

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Drain on paper towels.

    Chitterlings removed from oil on to a paper towel

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Serve hot and enjoy.

    Deep-Fried Chitterlings

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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.