Cracklin’ Cornbread

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This is my basic cornbread recipe, with the addition of cracklins.
Cracklins, as you may or may not know, are delicious yummy bits of fried pork rind also known as chicharrones. My note: you can get as crazy (or not) with this recipe as you want. Add in cheese, green chilis, diced pepper – whatever your little heart desires – it’s YOUR cornbread after all.

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon bacon drippings (trust me on this) – if you don’t have any, Crisco or lard will work too.
1 1/2 cup white cornmeal (I use Martha White self-rising )
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup cracklings

DIRECTIONS:
Mix together the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, then add the eggs and buttermilk. Stir until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in cracklings. Be careful not to crunch them up too tiny – you want them about the size of your fingernail. Place a 10″ cast iron skillet with bacon drippings in a 425º oven for about 5 minutes or until it gets really hot. Remove from oven; pour batter into skillet. Bake at 425º for about 25 minutes.