Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cold Spicy Sour Chicken Feet

The continuous sunny days are just lovely. Our tulip buds are popping out once again for their brief 2 weeks existence as with every year. With warmer and longer days, the appetite changes and opts for lighter taste and smaller volume in servings.

Salad is the first thing that came to my mind but I can get bored with eating raw vegetables really quickly. And so I reverted to Chinese cooking with a lighter version. Cold dishes are popular during the hot summer months in Hong Kong and one dish that I particularly love is this chicken feet dish. I was so spoiled with multitude of street food in Hong Kong during my last December trip that I totally forgotten to eat this dish which is conveniently de-boned and sold ready made in vacumn packs in the neighborhood grocery of Curry's Hong Kong home!

I am not very sure on whether this is a Cantonese dish or Shanghainese dish, but one thing is sure is that it is a very appetizing dish which is served cold with the slight peppery spiciness of the red chillis and the permeating taste of sour vinegar with a tinge of sweetness from the sugar added to it. Although chicken feet is not a norm on the dinner tables here, I believe patrons of Dim Sum restaurants at Chinatowns all over America must have tasted braised chicken feet which tastes equally good served hot and more tender with little work on gnawing off the bones.

The texture of this dish is more chewy and a lot of gnawing to be done if using usual chicken feet. Although there is de-boned chicken feet for sale at Asian stores, I never seem to find them as I am always rushing to get other staples for my kitchen pantry. And surely, it will be impossible for me to debone each of them and I rather use my teeth and mouth than spend hours clipping and cutting through those plump skin tight chicken feet! This dish is very quick to make but needs at least 2 hours to rest and macerate to allow the vinegar mixture to sip completely into the chicken feet. Serve as an appetizer or simply a side dish. Or like me, store in a container in the fridge and dig in a feet or two during snack pangs.

Recipe :

Ingredients :
1-1/2 lbs chicken feet (about 2 lbs if deboned is available)
1 cup Distilled vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
6 Pickled Red Chillis, cut to small pieces (available in Jars at Asian stores)
1 large shallot (Sliced thinly)
2 tbsp Fish sauce
Scallion for garnish

Method :
1)Boil 1 large pot of water. Clean the chicken feet and clip away the claws.
2)Cook the chicken feet on medium heat for 15 mins. Prepare a bowl of iced water.
3)Drain the chicken feet and place into the iced water. Let it stand while preparing the vinegar mixture.
4)Bring the vinegar and sugar to a rolling boil. Add in the chilli pieces and stir till the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
5)Drain the chicken feet from the iced water and use a fork to randomly poke the chicken feet.
6)Pour the vinegar mixture into the chicken feet. Sprinkle with the shallot slices and mix thoroughly.
7)Spoon into a container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serves: 2 to 3 persons


Lia Chen said...

Yum! I'm drolling here ... Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

terri@adailyobsession said...

i like the bite of chicken feet but i can only eat one b4 my imagination spoils them for me.

Kalistah said...

getting your recipe with much appreciation..1 of my fav salad..thx...;-)

Lily Fong said...

I have been searching for this kind of recipe. Cannot wait to try it tonight!thanks for the recipe.