WHAT ARE CHICKEN FEET?
While this might seem like a dish only served during times of famine in the West, in parts of the deep South or Asia it’s a delicacy. Consisting mostly of tough, stringy connective tissue the feet of the bird do not have the juicy succulence of the drumstick or the breast. And while they’re actually considered a fatty food, they’re also rich in collagen and protein! Japanese scientists have claimed that some of the proteins present help fight high blood pressure. Interestingly experiments with chicken feet support the theory that modern day birds evolved from dinosaurs. By inhibiting their development while still in the embryo, chicks were born with feet with identical characteristics to those of their long dead ancestors!
WHERE IS THIS CUT LOCATED?
While it might seem obvious (the claws that they walk on), the term “paws” is often used synonymously with feet. However they’re not quite the same thing. Feet are only the bottom part (below the ankle) of the leg while paws are both the foot and part of the lower leg as well. To see how to prepare poultry feet for cooking, click here!
WHO IS THE WORLD’S BIGGEST PRODUCER OF CHICKEN FEET?
While Americans consume more chicken then anyone else in the world, the feet are not a popular menu item. This has resulted in the USA exporting more chicken feet to Asian then any other country in the world. Almost 75% of all the chicken China imports for example is just the feet.
HOW LONG DO I COOK CHICKEN FEET FOR?
In general all poultry is eaten at a temperature of over 165 F (74 C) to be safe. However after cleaning and removing the skin, most recipes boil for around 10 minutes or deep fry on high heat for around 5 minutes. This is a small piece of food that cooks quickly. And the collagen present acts as a thickening agent for soups or stocks. In homeopathic remedies it’s also a popular if lesser known ingredient in tea!