Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Love of Chicken Feet

One of the many things that Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations has taught me is to step out of my comfort zone and experience new things whether they turn out good or not.  One of the things I like about Anthony Bourdain is his love of eating food that people shy away from normally.  I've been adopting his motto for quite awhile and I'm glad I did.

When I went to Tokyo Sushi Buffet a few years back, I noticed at one of the stations there was huge plate of what it looked like to be some sort animal feet.  I asked one of the people working there what it was, and he said it was chicken feet.  Being that I was getting more open to food, I decided to give it a try.  At first glance, it seemed to be a lot more skin than meat.  When I took my first bite, I realized I should have nibbled it because I immediately felt the bone in my mouth.  I recovered and ate the rest of the chicken feet.  At this point I fell in love with chicken feet.  There really was no chicken meat at all, and it was mainly skin and tendons.  Eating the skin had a gelatinous, fatty feel to it.  It took some effort to eat them too because you had to remove the small bones.

This past Sunday, my mom(who is in town for Mother's Day) and I did a little bit of grocery shopping at the Oriental Market in the North Hills area on McKnight.  They just opened not too long ago, and they can certainly compete against the big boys at the Strip District.  We noticed that they had chicken feet for like around 2.25 a pound and I decided to go with it and order two pounds of it.  Thankfully they were clean and had no nails.  I've seen Youtube videos of people taking the nails out of the chicken feet, and it's not pretty.

The next day we cooked our chicken feet.

1.  We washed the chicken and dried with paper towel.
2.  Fried them till cooked.  Covered the frying pan with foil because if not, it will splash all over.
3.  Put chicken feet on paper towels so they absorb the oil.
4.  We soaked the chicken feet in cold water for an hour so the chicken feet becomes more puffy.  We then drained it.
5.  We cooked the mince garlic, mince ginger in one tablespoon of cooking oil for 30 seconds.  Then we put the feet in.  Then we put salt, pepper, sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce, and some boiling water.  We boiled and covered in medium heat until the chicken feet were tender.
6.  After that we put chopped green onion and chopped hot pepper and mix it.

Here is what the finished chicken feet looked like.  It's not the prettiest site to see and will not win any awards for presentation, but it tasted damn good.  It was definitely very messy to eat due to the ingredients, and it required a lot of napkins.  I think our version is a lot better than Tokyo Sushi Buffet.  It has more flavor(not too spicy), and the skin was much juicier and gelatinous.

As much I love chicken feet, I don't think I'll be cooking this again for quite awhile since it's not something you should eat all the time.  But eating chicken feet is a good introduction to eating food that is not the norm.  So when you get the opportunity, eat some chicken feet.  You'll be pleasantly surprised.

1 comment:

  1. A Portuguese friend of mine in Newark LOVED chicken feet. Although I've never had them, I've heard they're great. Do you know of any restaurants that serve them? I'd love to give them a try, but I'm a little nervous about cooking them at home.


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