Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicken Paws...short cut to dim sum style chicken feet


hey... WAIT !  don't go.

i needed a fix of the weird stuff.  too much pansying around with jams and pound cakes.  i start to get the itch for something out of the ordinary.
when i get the yen for something different i head to my favorite Asian market, 99 Ranch in Irvine.  let's see...live fish, fish heads, black chicken?..been there, done that!...pig's feet ?...done,  snout...done,  pig ears ?...done and done...duck tongues?.. NO,  once again i had to pass on the duck tongues...i'm still not quite ready for those yet...

 BUT i thought a good dose of chicken toes would do the trick.

and these definitely did the trick.

these are the best chicken feet i have ever tasted...

and YES....i have had quite a few in my day.
i usually cook them up for good chicken stock.  they make THE BEST GOLDEN DELICIOUS BROTH.  no one else in the family eats them, but i remember my Grandmother noshing on a foot or two in her day.

i must admit, however, that i have never seen chicken feet on a menu...i would have ordered them...hence, i have never had the privilege to eat them prepared in the proper dim sum manner.  so this is not an authentic preparation in any way, but i think it definitely has the right flavor profile and they ARE finger lickin' good.  the glaze that this creates is absolutely delicious and could be used for many other things...maybe chicken wings, spare ribs, pork tender loin, pulled pork...anything really.

above and below are a couple of bold visual examples of what you will be dealing with....
and i'll add that these were some of the prettiest chicken feet i had ever seen.
no kidding, that's why i bought them.  i found them at 99 Ranch Market...they were HUGE!, white and spotless, but beware...most chicken feet are not a pretty sight and are quite strange for a newcomer.

one of the MORE uncomfortable things you must do is cut the "talon" off.  best done with a pair of kitchen shears and done as quickly as possible so as not to dwell on the fact too long.  you can quickly lose your appetite for your new adventure at this stage of the game.

i say throw your inhibitions aside...put on your helmet, don your protective eye wear, set out the drop cloth and dive into some chicken feet dim sum.  you'll have a load of fun preparing them and you won't stop talking about it for months.  they surely make for colorful conversation...
AND you might just find out you like chicken feet...SHHHHH...

quick note about the recipe...i call this a "short-cut" because you don't need to fry the feet in hot oil as you would with authentic recipes, you don't need a wok and the ingredients are pretty simple...but it does take a few hours to cook.

adapted from Food.com by Chef #74195

1 1/2 - 2 pounds chicken feet
2 (12oz) cans Coke
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 discs fresh ginger
2 star anise
3 smashed garlic cloves
2 Tsp garlic chili sauce or sambal oelek

put all ingredients, except the feet in a large bottom dutch oven.  large because you want all the feet to be in the broth.
start heat to combine flavors and dissolve sugar.
add chicken feet.
bring to a boil and turn down to a slow-low simmer for approx 2 - 3 hours.  i cooked mine for 2 hours then turned the heat off and let them sit in the covered dutch oven for another hour.  they were perfect.  check them after 1 hour and give them a delicate stir.  they are done when you can easily pull a "finger" off.
remove the feet from the pot.  strain the broth  and put back on medium heat until the liquid turns into a sauce...it will reduce and thicken into an absolutely delicious glaze sauce that you will want to use on other things as well.  i was amazed how fabulous this was.

serve in a large bowl or serving platter and drizzle glaze over all the feet.
or...just toss the feet with the sauce/glaze.
sprinkle some red pepper flakes and cilantro or chopped scallions.
have an empty bowl next to each person for the tiny little bones.



Debs @ The Spanish Wok said...

I was intrigued to read this recipe. Don't get excited, I won't be trying it LOL. Just wanted to say you made a horrible sounding dish look so inviting.

Here in Spain, chicken's feet are available almost everywhere, the spanish don't throw out anything!

I do have a couple of friends whom would be so impressed if I served them this, never say never.

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Debs...i won't expect any feedback real soon on the chicken paws, but i hope you make them sometime in the future for those feet lovin' friends. i swear you'll at least have an interesting experience to remember. you live in Spain?...you lucky dog...thanks for the comment. jules

mrsfish94 said...

how exactly do you eat them. I didn't think there was any meat to eat off them... is there?

Jules and Ruby said...

hi mrsfish94...they are a bit of a chore and not the most attractive to eat on a first date...there is no meat at all and not much true nutritional value...BUT they are delicious and the fun and flavor outweighs the cons. i read that some believe it strengthens skin and helps prevent wrinkles...i'm all in for that!
answer to your question?...very carefully...there are many many small tiny bones. basically anything that is soft is edible. you suck the soft skin, cartilage and tendons off and delicately spit out the bones. sounds so strange when put in words.

Ms.Petite said...

thank you so much for the recipe!! the sauce/broth was yummy!!! i only cooked my finger for 30 min.coz i like the squeaky texture. =]

Ms.Petite said...

the chicken fingers, not my own finger. lol oops

Jules and Ruby said...

Ms. Petite...what a crack up! !!! there's just so many jokes that go along with eating chicken feet. i saw someone referred to them as "Hobbit Hands"....anyway, thanks so much for the report back. wasn't that glaze delicious?...

Carlo Mash said...

At first I was hesitant to even taste chicken feet, but my Mom knows I have a thing for Portuguese Style Chicken, so she seasoned it with marine salt and paired it with garlic hot sauce. When done like that, I just can't get enough of it. =)

Carlo Mash

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Carlo...thanks for the comment...maybe i should try the Portuguese seasoning

Anonymous said...

The chicken beautiful, adorable all, greetings Situs Porno

Anonymous said...

What can I substitute with Coke? I don't drink soda but I want to try this recipe. Someone told me to use molasses as a healthy alternative but how much should I use?

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