Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chicken Feet Good Enough to Eat

The Chicken Foot Fascination continues. Here in KC the Bo Ling group of restaurants serves Dim Sum on the weekends. It's one of my long time favorite events to either take out of town visitors or carry out to enjoy at home. So some of the dishes at the Top Chef Dim Sum challenge were very familiar to those of us here at the Kitchen. I decided it was time to reacquaint myself Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce.

chickenfoot dskc

Just like the feet of many mammals and birds, the chicken feet have lots of little bones. They are gelatinous with little meat. Bo Ling's version is spicy and fragrant with star anise and black beans. No nails on these feet.

no nails

Now after a little research on preparing chicken feet, I'm wondering if Casey was doomed from the beginning. Most of the recipes I've read call for frying and stewing at least for the black bean version but it makes sense with all that hard gelatinous material that introducing a long wet heat makes the feet much easier to eat.

The real question for me is why didn't Casey use a good pair of sharp kitchen shears to whip through all those chicken nails?


the dogs' mother said...

So you eat the whole thing, pop it in your mouth and I expect it is crunchy? Looks good.

The most adventurous I've gotten is calamari in San Fransisco and oysters in New Orleans.

Big Shamu said...

Well apparently you eat each digit knuckle by knuckle. The bones are hard so I'm not sure if everyone eats those, I don't. But yes, they are good. If you want to deliberately gross out the squeamish order these and the whole crunchy shrimp (heads, shells and tails) and eat them whole.

Of course all this is baby food compared to what Andrew Zimmern.

Buzz Kill said...

Your research backs up what I said previously, even if she made her chicken feet by herself, I still think Casey goes home. You have to like the guts it took to take on something like this, but middle of the road on this challenge was as good as a win.

Big Shamu said...

I'm wondering if she tasted the first ones she made in order to tell Antonia how to make them? If she didn't and they were inedible, then yeah, she totally deserves to go. If she did and they were edible and Antonia totally blew off Casey's dish or didn't follow directions causing the dish to be inedible then I've lost a ton of respect for Antonia. But I still blame the creators of this challenge for taking three chefs out of the kitchen when it obviously screamed for a total group cooking effort.

Buzz Kill said...

You're right, the end part of the challenge with the chefs serving was just wrong. And not to belabor this, but my point is that she didn't have enough time to begin with.
I just went over to Bravo's site to see if Casey's recipe was there and it was. Chicken Feet and Scallion pancakes

It calls for braising the feet for 2 1/2 hours in a sauce that has to reduce by 1/3 and that's after frying the feet and then frying them again after they come out of the braise. And then you have to make pancakes - for 200. I forget how much time they had for the challenge but it seems to me there wasn't enough.