What to do with these chicken feet?
October 20, 2010 4:02 PM   Subscribe

What to do with thesed packaged chicken feet? Is there anything special I need to do to prepare them? My daughter is mad-keen to get stuck into one, but given there's no english writing on the pack, I'm not really sure what to do. Pictures are here and here.
posted by singingfish to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would surmise those are to make chicken feet soup with. My husband was served that in Thailand. If you know anyone from that region, I'd start by asking them.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:57 PM on October 20, 2010

There are plenty of chicken feet recipes on the web, many reviewed by people who've tried them.
posted by thatdawnperson at 5:48 PM on October 20, 2010

When I've eaten chicken feet, they have just been deep-fried. But I haven't tried cooking them myself.
posted by lollusc at 5:59 PM on October 20, 2010

For future reference, if you are in the US, you can get packaged chicken feet at most inner-city markets in low-income neighborhoods, along with many other kinds of "unusual" cheap meat parts. It's not something you have to import from Asia.
posted by Ashley801 at 6:10 PM on October 20, 2010

They're clearly cooked, right? So just warm them up and eat them.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:27 PM on October 20, 2010

In Chinese cuisine, chicken feet are a delicacy eaten for their "mouthfeel" (the way a food feels in your mouth when eaten is considered to be in the same category as sweet, sour, bitter, salty etc.). I think the mouthfeel of chicken feet is supposed to be rubbery/scrunchy. As for taste, it's whatever sauce you use on it, but it looks like this particular pack might have chilli already added, so that's kind of been decided for you already.
posted by Bwithh at 6:33 PM on October 20, 2010

I've normally had chicken feet in vinegar - possibly using a recipe something like this one. Not bad if you're into cartilaginous things. Fair warning: I've never tried to make chicken feet this way myself, and that recipe is from eHow, so no promises.

Somebody who remembers more Chinese than I do (the photo is too blurry to let me look up the many characters I've forgotten) should check me out on this, but I think that in your second picture, there's a line of text, on the right-hand side, just below the pictures that says something like "Usage Instructions: Open package and use." That and the phrase "Spicy Chicken Claw" suggest that the feet are pre-prepared.

Or, uh, what AmbroseChapel said.
posted by Serf at 6:39 PM on October 20, 2010

Yes, you can eat these without preparing them. I've recently seen chicken feet and duck wings packaged as a snack like this so maybe it's a new trend?

The two big words is the brand name.
Second line is something like: 11 years professionally made [specific type of] chicken (something involving salt?)
Third line I'm not too sure, but it's something something chicken feet (maybe the flavour)
Bottom is like a motto along the lines of: you'll love it so much you'll even eat the bones (eh... I'm terrible at translation)

Back of package:

The box just says how awesome and delicious it is
Pictures show how it's made. (Chicken --> salted --> cooked --> spiced and packed)

Then on the right side down the bottom, it says open and eat within 12 months of date on the package

Main point is that you can eat them.
posted by fallsauce at 6:59 PM on October 20, 2010

The mouthfeel of properly cooked chicken feet in Chinese cuisine is rich (the skin) flavorful (the skin picks up the sauce) and soft (the skin and tendons get cooked long enough and they get smooth and soft). Chewy skin is not desirable, nor are chewy tendons. The chicken feet, if you were preparing them from scratch, would take a long time to cook.

I would eat them either by themselves or on rice if the sauce is somewhat liquid. I wouldn't cook them with or especially in anything (like a casserole). Chicken feet are generally eaten with fingers and the skin/tendons/flesh (what little of it there is) chewed off with teeth. I have seen grandmothers eat them by holding them with chopsticks, but that skill's beyond me.

A sign of quality, by the way, would be nails either trimmed or pulled out completely (gone). Given that it's prepared food, I wouldn't worry about those details, nor would I worry about the other aspect of chicken feet. More rustic preparations (not washed/cleansed well) might also taste of the barnyard or of whatever else the chicken walked around in. This is usually just a psychological thing - I think I tasted something actually earthy once when eating dim sum, but it can be easy to get creeped out by feet.
posted by kalessin at 7:59 PM on October 20, 2010

Thanks guys! They were tasty to eat just by themselves, and did not need to be cooked. My daughter wanted to take one for school lunch but rejected the idea once she thought about the possibility of being teased.
posted by singingfish at 1:26 PM on October 21, 2010

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