Think you've seen (and devoured) kale chips every which way? Think again. Slathered in smoky-savory bacon drippings and tossed with maple sugar, these snappy snacks are far from conventional in a good — nay, great — way. Sure, it may seem a bit counterintuitive to dress the hearty and oh-so-wholesome green with slightly naughty ingredients, but these still remain a glimmer of virtue, while tasting pretty darn close to candied bacon. So, get over any misguided reservations you may have and try out the recipe yourself.
Adapted from Pinegate Road
Maple Bacon Kale Chips
Adjust the salt to taste, as it will depend largely on the saltiness of your bacon drippings, which will vary from brand to brand. I used Niman Ranch's Applewood-Smoked Uncured Bacon.
2 pieces thick-cut bacon
1 bunch kale, rinsed
2 tablespoons maple sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a half-sheet pan with a cooling rack.
- Lay the bacon out on the cooling rack, and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is cooked to desired crispness.
- Meanwhile, remove the kale stems, cut or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces, and thoroughly rinse the leaves to remove any lingering dirt. Dry the pieces of kale in a salad spinner or on a dish towel (it's important that the leaves are dry before the next step).
- Remove the cooling rack and bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve for another use (or eat it). Allow the bacon drippings to cool to the touch, about 5 minutes.
- Toss the kale in the bacon drippings, massaging it onto all surfaces. Sprinkle the kale with the maple sugar and salt, tossing to coat evenly.
- Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper and spread the pieces into a single even layer. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the chips have shrunken slightly and are crisp and darker in color but not yet brown.