This hot and spicy chicken feet recipe brings the Asian street food into your kitchen for you to enjoy. This amazing appetizer doesn't have much meat to it but it is packed with complex, exotic flavor. The use of sake, fresh ginger, soy sauce, hot chiles, cinnamon, and star anise; along with the classic Asian sauces - oyster and hoisin - create a delightful mixture for your taste buds. Instead of wings for your next party, try this chicken feet recipe with your guests. While chicken feet are known to be a favorite treat in Asian countries. However, not only is the appetizer becoming more popular here in the United States, it is also enjoyed in Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Moldova, Italy, Jamaica, South Africa, Peru, and Mexico.
- 32 chicken feet (about 2 pounds)
- 1/2 cup sake
- 1/3 cup water
- 6 large thin slices fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Chinese yellow rock sugar (or 1/4 cup granulated sugar)
- 2 dried hot chiles, crushed
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 buds from star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup scallion cut in 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons minced scallion and 1t toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Rub chicken feet with kosher salt and let stand for 10 minutes, rinse in cold water.
- Place feet into a pot of rapidly boiling salted water, blanch for 5 minutes and drain well. Chicken feet can be set aside and refrigerated for a day until you need to cook further.
- Place a 14-inch saute pan over high heat. Add the chicken and dry-sear to lightly brown.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the garnish) and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes.
- Uncover, and simmer until the pan is almost “dry,” tossing frequently to coat the feet as the sauce reduces.
- Serve, garnishing with scallion shavings and toasted sesame seeds.
Ingredient Substitutions with Cooking Tips
Before you start this recipe, prepare the chicken feet for cooking by cleaning them and removing the top layer of the skin, as well as the top layer of nails. The scaly skin and nails are unusable and should be discarded. Here's how:
- Bring a large pot of water to the brink of boiling on your stovetop.
- Drop the chicken feet into the water for approximately 30 seconds. While you can do more than one chicken foot at a time if your pot is not large enough to comfortably fit them all into the pot without overcrowding, separate them by half or thirds. Set each chicken foot aside to cool.
- Once all chicken feet have been dipped, start peeling off the skin one at a time.
- You may find it easier to peel the top layer of the nails first before removing the skin from the rest of the foot, but either way is fine. The goal is to remove the top layer of skin and nail.
- Proceed to fully cut the nails off of each chicken foot at the first joint.
Many people clean their chicken feet up to a day prior to actually preparing them for a meal.
FYI: Chicken feet freeze well and will keep for at least six months as long as they are wrapped air-tight to protect them from any freezer burn.