Chicken feet? ………
Yes, I am not kidding… I…was…craving… for… chicken feet.
Let me assure you that eating chicken feet is common in my country and I am not like Andrew-Zimmen who is hunting for bizzare foods. For me, eating chicken feet is no different than eating buffalo wings. And chicken feet can be enjoyed in many different ways hence bring delight to our soul………
Chicken feet are exactly what they sound like: the feet of a chicken. When detached from the chicken, chicken feet are enjoyed as a culinary delicacy in some regions of the world, most notably in China and South Africa.
During my childhood, my Mom used chicken feet to make chicken stock. I could always tell when a soup had been made with stock from chicken feet. Stock made from chicken feet is fabulous, and incredibly good with all that gelatin. It has its own unique and wonderful flavor too.
Recently, I have found an old recipe complete with the pictures on “how to make stock from chicken feet” in www.simplyrecipe.com , and I believed this is more or less similar to what my Mom used to make:
- 1 kg of chicken feet
- 2 large carrots, cut in half
- 1 onion, cut into wedges
- 2 celery ribs, cut in half
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 peppercorns
The following is step-by-step of making stock from chicken feet
- Bring 2 liters of water to a boil. Put the chicken feet into a large stock pot and cover with boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes. Use a large metal spoon to skim and discard the scum that rises to the surface.
- Drain the chicken feet completely. Rinse with cold water so that the feet are cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, chop off the tips of the claws and discard. They should cut easily if you cut them through the joint. If any rough patches of claw pad remain, cut them away with a pairing knife.
- Place chicken feet in a clean large stockpot. Fill with cold water to cover the feet by 2.5 cm. Add carrots, onions, celery, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer, immediately reduce the temperature to low. Partially cover, leave about a half inch crack or so, and keep the stock cooking at a bare simmer, for 4 hours.
- Occasionally skim any foam that may come to the surface. Uncover, increase the heat slightly to maintain a low simmer with the pot now uncovered. Continue to cook for an hour or two.
- At this point you are reducing the stock so that it is easier to store. Strain the stock through several layers of cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer (ideally both) into a pot. Pour into quart-sized jars. Let cool for an hour or so before storing in the refrigerator.
- When the stock has cooled, it should firm up nicely into a gel.
Pretty cool, isn’t it?
In my country, the most famous chicken feet dish is dim-sum-style-chicken-feet served as “phoenix talons” that commonly found at many dim sum restaurants.
My family often spend a lazy morning in our favorite dim sum restaurant, sipping Chinese tea and feasting on the innumerable assortment of delicacies that make up Chinese dim sum. Originally a Cantonese custom, dim sum is inextricably linked to the Chinese tradition of “yum cha” or drinking tea.
Dim sum chicken feet might not be to everyone’s tastes, but for those looking for delicious dim sum bursting with flavor and texture at a cheap price, you can’t go wrong with Golden Phoenix Claws. The taste is unique and tender with a rich succulent taste to it.
Dim sum style chicken feet are also easy to make at home. There is one recipe of Golden Phoenix Claws by James Lee, owner of Hee Hing Restaurant found in www.about.com. I have tried the recipe with a bit of modification and this is my version of dim-sum-style-chicken-feet:
- 500 gram chicken feet
- 1 liters oil
- 1 liters water
- 15 gram fresh ginger
- 3 pieces star anise
- 50 gram Chinese parsley roots
- 50 gram brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
- 25 gram chopped chile pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- Wash the chicken feet, chop off toenails and cut into quarters.
- Heat oil to 175 degrees Celcius. Mix chicken feet with brown sugar and fry until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove and drain.
- Boil water and add ginger, star anise and parsley roots. Add feet. Bring to boil again, then reduce heat and simmer 90 minutes. Drain.
- Combine marinade ingredients. Marinate feet 24 hours. Before serving, steam feet and marinade 15 minutes.
And this is the look of my dim-sum-style-chicken-feet. Not very pretty, but taste-wise was good.
Another angle of my dim-sum-chicken-feet
Not so appealing as well but what is in the look? its the taste that matters!
As far as my experience with chicken-feet, there is one more way to enjoy them, that is the ‘deep fried chicken feet skin’ or in my country it is called ‘keripik ceker’ literally means ‘chicken feet chips’. Keripik ceker is very popular in Bali – every time I visit Bali I always buy these chicken feet chips to bring home. It’s so crispy and crunchy that once you pop, you’ll never stop.
I also found other interesting deep fried chicken feet named ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken Feet’ at www.mrspeaker.net . In the recipe, the chicken feet is dipped in white eggs, covered generously with Kroger’s Kentucky Flour and then deep fried in oil. The following pictures show the process:
Wow, the Kentucky Fried Chicken Feet look so appetizing to me!
I know that for some people, the chicken feet may look disgusting since to some extent they look like our hands. I respect and understand those who cannot stand chicken feet but to us who love them, indeed they are Chicken Feet for the Soul………