Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Everything Including the Feet
Posted by Diana Renata
What? Why not?
Honestly, I never really considered them... until I saw an ad on Craig's List. "Chicken feet. $1.00 per pound." How could I resist!? Besides, you know me. I'm always game for trying something new and unusual, and for most people here in the US, chicken feet are definitely unusual.
Cooking up something like this, I had to do some investigating to find out just what I'm supposed to do. Most people I talked to simply used them for stock. What fun is that? I want to EAT them! With some digging around the Internet I found everything I needed to give it a try. It was surprisingly easy, albeit... messy. One thing I learned through this process- I need to practice my deep frying skills.
So, if you're the adventurous sort, and you want to go about trying chicken feet, here's what you do...
First, you need the feet. You can usually get them pretty cheap from any place that butchers chickens. You'll get about 8 feet in a pound.
It's actually quite easy and all you need is a good sharp knife. A pair of kitchen scissors will work just as well. Sometimes the feet will have calluses. You'll want to remove these as well.
Seriously, my first thought was "I cannot believe I'm giving my dinner a pedicure."
After the toenails are removed, give your chicken feet a quick boil- 5 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water and dry them thoroughly. You don't want any extra moisture when they go in the hot grease.
While the feet dry, heat your tallow and prepare for frying. Give them one last pat with a paper towel and drop them into the hot grease. Basically you fry them just like you would fry chicken wings. Be careful! There will be some pops and spatters. This was the part I wasn't prepared for and made quite a mess.
Once they're nice and crisp, remove them from the grease and let them dry one a paper towel. Coat with your favorite sauce and enjoy them just like chicken wings.
Well... not just like chicken wings. They do taste a little bit different. There isn't actually much meat on a chicken foot, but there's lots of yummy skin, and other tasty tissue. I know, that doesn't sound the most appetizing, but I assure you, they're quite good!
For my first try I made a sort of Chinese sauce. I couldn't for the life of me tell you what it was, or if it was a proper recipe. I just sorta threw some ingredients together, heated it through, and hoped for the best. Sesame oil, wheat-free tamari, some honey, diced onion, bell pepper and garlic, some grated ginger, Chinese five spice. Whatever it was, it tasted good!
Another thing I noticed, when eating chicken feet there are three main eats. There's the skin around the leg, the soft part on the bottom, and the bones in the toes are actually soft enough you can eat them.
Now that I know what the taste and texture is like, I think for my next round of chicken feet I'm going to go with a traditional Buffalo wing sauce and maybe some blue cheese.
They look a bit unusual, but don't let their appearance intimidate you. :)