This week, I picked up my order of free-range organic chickens from a local farmer. I had requested the processors save me any extra parts. In addition to necks, hearts, and livers, I have 2 gallon Ziplocs of chicken feet. I have read they are a great source of collagen and they certainly seem Paleo. Aside from making chicken stock, does anyone have tasty ideas on how to cook up the chicken feet?
The Chinese sometimes put them in dimsum (breakfast dumplings). They say they like to crunch down on all those bones with their teeth. Perhaps due to different upbringing, I have never developed a taste for crunching bones and rubbery skin. Ick. Maybe the feet would be better deep fried like chicken wings. Either that, or I'd stick with stock.
You can try and make chicken jelly. It can be done from various kinds of meat, but pig/chicken legs are quite popular. Cook them with veggies, spices (allspice and bay leaves are strongly recommended) and whatever you want. Then drain it through cheese cloth to have nice a clear stock.
In cups (I guess cupcakes forms would be good as well) pour just a little bit on the bottom and it cool. when it begins to set a bit, add nicely cut pieces of veggies (not too much), pieces of chicken meat, sliced hard boiled egg etc., then fill in to the top with the rest of the stock. Leave in the fridge for some time till it's perfectly set.
It's delicious with some vinegar (or I guess lemon juice) poured over.
I had chicken feet dimsum in Beijing about three years ago. The flavor was fabulous, but it was hard mentally getting past the fact I was eating a foot. And it never let you forget. It looked like a foot on the place; it felt like a foot in your mouth. I didn't crunch through any bones though, just slurped off the skin and "stuff".
Would I eat them again? Heck ya! It was that good. But man... I tell ya, it is hard.
I lived in Hong Kong for many years, and had chicken feet quite often. The Chinese normally have them in a stew like concoction. Particularly nice is the spicy one I used to have. I don't have a recipe (sorry!), but I think you can experiment with stewing them with vegetables and add some spices. The trick to eating is to learn how to manipulate the meat off the bonds in your mouth, then discretely spit the bones out. Sounds grim, but can be very nice!
Just throw in the feet with carcass after you are done with it. Boil in a big pot overnight with to make a nice bone broth chicken soup. Make sure to throw in a splash of ACV to help leach minerals out of the bone. The feet will help the broth to jell when cooled.
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