Cleaning raw chicken feet is a daunting task. Actually, cleaning a whole raw chicken here is extremely daunting especially when the head and feet are still attached. I've only dealt with headless and feetless chickens back in the UK and I was in shock when I cut open the wrapper and saw this chicken staring right back at me. It took me quite awhile to recover and I felt even more grossed out when I saw the feet...with toenails! It was a whole new experience.
Anyway, grossness aside, chicken feet or feng zhao (鳯爪, which means phoenix claws in Chinese) contain a lot of collagen and can be really tasty and delicious if done well. With almost no meat and being mostly cartilage, chicken feet are very gelatinous. They are commonly used in Chinese cuisine and the most widely known way of cooking chicken feet is cooked dim sum style - chicken feet in sweet and salty black bean sauce. Extremely delicious. They are also used to make soups, which is believed to be good for your skin.
Remember to remove the outer layer of the skin (it's like a thin membrane) and trim away the toenails. If you want the skin of the chicken feet to be less rubbery and more 'puffy', you can deep fry them before braising.
Braised Chicken Feet with Mushrooms 冬菇焖鸡脚Printable recipe
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hr
Yield: serves 4-5
- 10 Chinese mushrooms - rinsed and soaked until softened, halved.
- 20 raw/ deep fried chicken feet － outer skin and toenails removed
- 3 slices ginger
- 3 cloves garlic - crushed
- 3 stalks spring onion - halved
- 1 star anise
- 3 tbs oyster sauce
- 2 tbs light soy suace
- A few dashes white pepper powder
- 1 small piece rock sugar
- 2 tsp Cheong Chan Thick Dark Soy Sauce (Thick Caramel Sauce) (optional, for colouring purposes)
- 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine
- Water used for soaking mushrooms
- Blanch chicken feet, drain, wash then leave aside for later use.
- Heat up a bit of oil in a pot. Add ginger, garlic, spring onion and star anise, fry until fragrant.
- Add in all the chicken feet, mushrooms and seasonings. Stir-fry for a few mins.
- Pour in Shaoxing wine followed by all the water used for soaking mushrooms. Add more water to cover all the ingredients.
- Bring to boil then lower heat to simmer until chicken feet are tender (about 1 hr or more).
- Season to taste with more oyster sauce/ light soy sauce.
- Thicken with constarch slurry if you want to.