Chicken Feet is a delicacy eaten in a lot of countries. While it does not look appealing to some, it does bring a lot of health benefits to the table. This popular ingredient is often cooked, braised, steamed, turned into soup or stews, and fried. The feet are cleaned of the outer layering of skin with the tips/nails removed, leaving only the tendons and edible tissues which make up the gelatinous texture that’s packed with a lot of collagen and protein. Find out more of its benefits and recipes that’s sure to win you over and try this interesting ingredient.
A short Introduction
Looked over as a weird or exotic dish that only the curious would try. These may have actually been found in your diet without you knowing with many bone broth and even collagen powders and drinks adding this enriching ingredient to help boost its collagen content. An ingredient made up of protein some might wonder, what does chicken feet taste like? It tastes mildly like regular chicken but has a more savory, subtle sweet note. These are more so known for its gelatinous texture from the skin and tendons, as the taste typically comes from the soup or sauce it absorbs. The process of chicken feet collagen extraction is either by stewing it for a long time till the tendons are soft or till the skin has almost separated from the bones, some do this by making chicken feet bone broth using a pressure cooker, with another option being a slow cooker.
Where to buy chicken feet? Typically bought as a whole cleaned or uncleaned with the nails and outer skin still attached, rarely as boneless chicken feet, commonly found fresh in the wet market or frozen in some Asian grocery stores. These are used in a number for dishes like Thai chicken feet recipe which can be a spicy street food dish that is covered with chillies, or as a salad that has a number of aromatics and spices added. Korean chicken feet recipes are typically stir-fried or batter or braids with a soy sauce marinade. In China these are typically cooked as dim sum, wth some regions eating these as traditional snacks to pair with alcohol. These are mostly eaten as a main dish or in soups, steaming the claws to make them puffier and tender, then stewed in savory and umami abalone sauce. These are just some examples with many more creative and delicious recipes using these collagen heavy claws found all around the world. (more Yummy Kitchen recipes found below)
Chicken Feet Benefits
A delightful treat for the brave or to those interested, chicken feet calories amount to around 215 calories for a serving of 100 grams. These are great for those who want a rich boost of collagen and protein as well as other vitamins and nutrients. The benefits do outway what you might think even though it only looks like skin and bones, the abundant supply of benefits for these small claws are:
- The whole foot is 70% collagen making one of the biggest reasons to give it a try or add into your diet. It keeps wrinkles at bay, keeps the skin hydrated, youthful-looking and elastic, and decreases cellulite.
- Collagen also is great for healing the body, making wounds heal faster. Keeps muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons strong. Meaning it reduces the risk of osteoarthritis and bone loss.
- Keeps the nails and gums healthy and hard due to the rich amount of amino acids and collagen.
- Can reduce inflammation. Inflammation occurs because of tissue damage, with long term inflammation becoming a bigger problem in the future. This gelatinous food-item has great anti-inflammatory properties that also benefits those with eczema or psoriasis,
- Great for weight management, this ingredient is great for those wanting to build muscle mass. Being carb free and boosting your metabolism which also helps for those interested in weight loss.
- Are chicken feet high in cholesterol? No they are not, these are actually good for the heart as collagen can regenerate and repair damage in the body, keeps the artery walls healthy and unblocked which pumps blood better to the heart.
* Are there any bad effects of eating chicken feet? These might be a choking hazard to some, especially kids as there are small bones. One should also take note of the cooking method. One of them for example is deep frying which like all fried foods can increase the risk of some cancers and heart problems. These are best eaten braised, stewed, or in soups.
- How to clean chicken feet?
- Rinse the feet under running water.
- Drain, then chop off the tip of the toes/nails.
- In a pot of boiling water at medium heat. Add the cleaned feet in and let it simmer for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Remove the feet and let it cool down enough that you can touch these and remove the topmost layer of skin, you’ll notice a lighter colored almost white soft flesh underneath.
- Throw away the removed skin and nails and you’re ready to use the cleaned chicken feet.
- Chicken feet substitute for broth or stock?
For broth and fried food, a great alternative would be chicken wings. You need the mild flavor and the gelatinous texture the feet has as it is the best way to get collagen. But you can still use the other parts (just in a larger quantity and those with more meat might need to be removed earlier to keep them from drying) like just the wings, drumsticks, breast, bones, especially the back
- Are chicken feet good for dogs ?
These are great for dogs as it helps with dental hygiene as well as keeps the joints healthy. Just make sure to remove the nails as these are hard to digest and might scratch their digestive system.
- Dim sum chicken feet how to eat?
The chicken feet dim sum name “Chi Zhi Feng Zhao” or ‘Phoenix claws’ braised in fermented black bean sauce. You eat it by placing the toes one at a time before getting to the pad and the rest of the parts, some can even fit the whole claw in their mouth. Chew and suck the skin and joints, if you feel any hard un-chewable object those are the small bones and should be thrown out. Do not swallow the bones.
How is it enjoyed in the Philippines?
The literal translation in Tagalog “Paa ng Manok” is an ingredient enjoyed all around the Philippines. From being used as the main meat for the famous ‘adobo’, as barbecue, to braising them in black bean sauce as a Filipino-Chinese fusion dish, fried to make the popular street food ‘adidas’ a funny slang-name given to the feet-dish as Adidas is a popular shoe brand whose logo looks like the claws of a bird/a chicken. While these are typically seen in Asian dishes especially Chinese cuisine these are also a delicacy loved by most Filipinos for its interesting taste and texture, great for making stews and soups thicker and are great in braised or sauce-y dishes as it really absorbs the marinade and sauce.
Chicken Feet Recipes :
- Adobong Paa ng Manok – chicken feet recipe Filipino style (adobo) a foolproof yummy way to enjoy this delicacy. Try out the spicy version of this braised chicken feet recipe here : Spicy Chicken Feet.
- Chicken Feet Humba – the main ingredient stewed in a sweet, salty and savory sauce that is popular in the Visayas region.
- Spicy Buffalo Chicken feet – marinated chicken claws cooked till crispy then tossed around with a spicy spicy sauce for a pop of color and flavor.
- Fried chicken feet recipe – a crispy chicken dish made by seasoning the feet then coating the claws with a nice batter, frying into nicely crisp outer skin with deliciously chewy tendons.
- For a healthy dish to add into your diet, try out this. “how to cook chicken feet soup recipe“
- For those who want something less stewed and full of sauce, try this “how to marinate chicken feet for bbq“.