Eating chicken feet may seem strange to many people. However, in some cultures, chicken feet are considered a delicacy and can be prepared and cooked in a variety of ways. If you’re used to getting your chicken without the feet, you might be thinking if there’s any purpose in trying this generally discarded component of the bird.
But how do chicken feet taste? When cooked, chicken feet have a mild flavor that is similar to the darker leg meat. They absorb spice flavors well and are used in umami-style sauces in Asian cooking. Deep-fried chicken feet have a flavor that is similar to crispy roast chicken skin.
Do you find yourself intrigued? Are you ready to taste chicken feet? We’ve got all the information you need about eating chicken feet right here, including how to prepare them, how to eat them, and if they taste like chicken.
What Are Chicken Feet?
Chickens (whole or cut up) and chicken legs (without the body) are commonly marketed without their feet in many different countries. That being the case, you might not know what chicken feet look like unless you actually see one in person. From the bird’s lower leg, the foot and claws are removed to make chicken feet for human consumption. Each claw has a nail at the end, and the sole of the foot is padded with skin. The foot and claws themselves are slender and coated in scaly skin.
Fans of this delicacy insist that it is one of the most delicious things they have ever eaten, although we must admit that the description doesn’t sound very appealing. This is due to the fact that many cultures around the world appreciate the bold flavor that is brought out during the cooking process.
Restaurants specializing in Chinese, Mexican, Portuguese, or South African cuisines may be the only places you may find chicken feet on the menu. This is because chicken feet are only eaten in particular countries and areas. Maybe you live in a place where chicken feet are commonplace, but you’ve never had the guts to give them a try. Find out why it’s a good idea right now!
How Are Chicken Feet Cooked?
So, if the secret is in the cooking, let’s find out how to cook chicken feet! Small bones are linked together by strong cartilage inside the chicken foot and claws. The goal of cooking chicken feet is to soften the cartilage so that it is tender enough to consume while also allowing the bones to be readily removed. To soften cartilage, a long, slow heating method is usually used to convert tough collagen into soft gelatin. Anyone who has slow-cooked a difficult piece of beef has done just that, transforming chewy muscle into delicious, supple, melt-in-your-mouth flesh!
Normally, chicken feet are fried in seasonings before being slow-cooked. This first flavors the meat before tenderizing it with low heat over a long period of time! There are various classic chicken foot recipes. The major one you’ve probably seen is called “Phoenix Claws,” and it’s a type of Chinese dim lunch. The chicken feet are fried first and then slowly simmered in an umami-rich sauce, which gives them a sweet, sticky, and deep flavor.
Other Asian-inspired chicken feet recipes follow the same pattern, with the feet first fried or roasted and then slow-cooked. The advantage of this procedure is that the meat is supple enough to be pulled apart with chopsticks. In various cultures, you could come across chicken feet prepared in a different way. They can be boiled as part of a broth, soup, or stew, and the gelatin within the foot gives these liquid dishes a delectably smooth thickness.
Deep-fried chicken feet, with or without batter, are very popular. It may be more difficult to separate the meat from the bone when cooked in this manner, but the result is a delightfully crispy texture!
What Do Chicken Feet Taste Like?
The main benefit of chicken feet is how they absorb various tastes when cooked; they are not known for having a strong flavor on their own. Depending on the recipe you use, your chicken feet will have a very different flavor. The meat on chicken feet tastes mildly of chicken when consumed alone. Some claim that it has a mild game flavor, however this depends on the type of chicken that it was. You must only prepare and consume immaculately clean chicken feet; else, the flavor may have a nasty tinge to it.
Normal deep-frying seasonings for chicken feet include salt, pepper, soy sauce, and other spices like cinnamon or star anise. They acquire a warm, aromatic flavor as a result, like spicy roast chicken skin. A mixture of garlic, ginger, star anise, bay leaves, chili flakes, and fermented black beans is slowly cooked in chicken feet dim sum.
The traditional umami flavor that pairs so well with this Chinese delicacy is added to the mixture along with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and rice wine. Additionally, chicken feet cooked in a black bean sauce and sweet and sour sauce may be available. If you enjoy traditional chicken feet dim sum, you should try both of these!
What Is The Texture Of Chicken Feet Like?
The texture of chicken feet is heavily influenced by how they are cooked. The meat of chicken feet has a lot of cartilage, which can be chewy and difficult. Many tiny bones that are not ordinarily eaten are contained within this cartilage. The meat and cartilage of the chicken feet get crispy when fried or roasted. Picking up the entire foot and nibbling or picking off the edible sections with your teeth or fingers is how most people enjoy fried chicken feet.
Chicken feet that have been cooked in liquid have an entirely different texture. This heating method softens the stiff collagen in cartilage, allowing it to easily come off the bone. Chicken feet truly melt in the mouth when cooked in this manner, with a smooth, silky, and simply delectable texture.
Slow-braised chicken feet can be eaten with chopsticks or with a knife and fork. There is no need to pick at the soft cartilage with your fingers or teeth because it will readily pull away from the bone.
Do Chicken Feet Taste Like Chicken?
Although the flavor of chicken feet is similar to that of other fleshier portions of the bird, it is a little milder. The flavor has a dark, almost gamey flavor and is most similar to chicken leg flesh. Chicken feet typically take on a crunchy, sweet flavor from being fried, which is quite reminiscent of the crispy skin we all love on a roast chicken. Despite the messy eating experience, it is this sweet-salty flavor that makes fried chicken feet a favorite snack!
Now that we’ve worked out the flavor of chicken feet, let’s look at some of the other often asked questions about this strange gastronomic experience.
How do you prepare chicken feet?
If you’ve never done it before, preparing chicken feet can seem like a difficult process, but it’s actually rather easy. The most crucial factor is hygiene; these feet must be impeccably clean before being consumed. After 15 minutes of clean, cold water soak time, scrub the chicken feet with a light nylon brush to remove any dirt. You’ll need to peel the skin off your chicken feet if they haven’t already been.
Blanching them in hot water for 30 seconds will make this process much simpler. With the aid of a sharp knife, the skin should then peel off easily, and the claws should be removed at the same time. Last but not least, do the chicken feet smell dirty? If so, rinse them after about 15 minutes of soaking in a mild brine of salt and vinegar. Now that they are perfectly white, your chicken feet should be ready to cook!
Are chicken feet good for you?
Eating chicken feet has certain health benefits, but it also has some drawbacks. This is one of those foods that should be consumed in moderation as a pleasure. The main benefit of chicken feet is the high collagen content, which helps to improve skin suppleness, reducing wrinkles and giving skin a more youthful appearance. Collagen can also aid in the reduction of joint discomfort and inflammation, hence improving mobility. Chicken feet, on the other hand, are high in saturated fats and cholesterol. They are often cooked with a lot of sugar and salt, making them a less-than-healthy alternative.
Can you make stock from chicken feet?
Since there is a lot of gelatin in chicken feet, the stock is incredibly silky and smooth. This is a fantastic way to use this typically discarded part of the chicken because the flavor of chicken feet also transfers nicely to stock. It is essential to make sure the chicken feet are completely clean before using them to make stock. After giving them a 15-minute soak in water, gently clean any dirt off.
Place the chicken feet in a saucepan with heated water or a slow cooker, cover, and simmer for about six hours. Your stock will taste and have more body if you add additional vegetables and herbs.