Chicken feet are a delicacy eaten in countries all over the world. Whether served as a main course, a soup or a bar snack, there are a large number of recipes for consuming this unusual dish.
After removing the outer layer of the hard skin, the feet’s edible tissue primarily comprises of skin, cartilage and tendons. Because of the presence of high collagen content, chicken feet are known for their many health benefits which include:
- Helping to improve blood sugar levels
- Helping to prevent heart-related diseases
- Helping to stop bone loss
- Helping with skin health
Some countries where chicken feet are relished include Mexico, South Africa, China, Jamaica, Trinidad, Romania, Moldova, Italy, Peru and many more.
History and Cultural Significance
It’s believed that the Chinese have savored chicken feet since the Zhou Dynasty period (1066-221 BCE), or even earlier.
Chicken feet are also called “phoenix claws” and are valued because of the high collagen content that they tend to contain. It’s believed to improve one’s complexion, hair and nails.
Also recognized as a favourite treat in Asian countries, chicken feet are very rich in vitamin B9 (also known as folate), which in turn helps with DNA synthesis and also helps prevent birth abnormalities.
Although this exotic dish doesn’t have much meat to it, it is full of complex flavors. You will find chicken feet in many countries in many different variations, but our featured recipe focuses on the Chinese-style chicken feet dish.
Chicken Feet Recipe
- Chicken feet (cut the nails and any extra parts) - 20
- Oil for deep frying
- Iced water
For the sauce
- Garlic cloves, finely chopped - 2
- Scallions, finely chopped - 2
- Fresh Thai chili pepper, finely chopped (optional) - 2
- Ginger, finely chopped - 1 inch
- Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
- Oyster sauce - 1/2 tbsp
- Star anise - 2
- Warm water - 1 cup
- Take a large pot and pour sufficient water in it. Bring it to a boil and add ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of rice vinegar. Add the chicken feet into the pot and cook for about 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, shift the feet to another container and drain all the excess water. Now add 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and let it marinate for around 30 minutes.
- Take a wok/ deep fryer and fill one third of it with oil. Keep the flame on medium heat to 180 C. Now add the chicken feet in small batches and fry until they turn golden and become dry. Remember, the oil might sparkle in case the feet aren’t completely dry. Make sure to cover the fryer with a lid and use a long chop stick to turn the chicken feet. Continue until all the pieces are properly deep fried.
- Take a large bowl and fill it with iced water. Shift the feet to the bowl. In order to achieve the tiger skin effect, keep the feet immersed in the water for about 3 to 4 hours.
- To steam: Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and keep it aside. After 3-4 hours, shift the chicken feet to a steamer.
- Steam the feet for about 15 minutes and add the steaming sauce to it. Keep steaming it for the next 30-40 minutes.
- To braise: Now take a deep pan and transfer the chicken feet with the sauce into it. Add another cup of water. Cook for 15 minutes on simmer.
- Turn the flame high and let the sauce thicken. After it is done, sprinkle with chopped scallions, serve hot and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 19gCholesterol: 84mgCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 21g