How to Fry Chicken Feet

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Chicken feet may look more like scraps than appetizing food. They're made up of just skin and bones, with a thin layer of fat and no meat. But in hard times, no part of the animal can go to waste. It can't have taken long for people to realize that frying chicken feet, like frying most foods, can turn them into something delicious. In Asian culture, in particular, fried chicken feet in sauce is a traditional snack, appetizer or street food.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 pounds chicken feet
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fermented black beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch, blended in 1/2 cup water
  • Knife
  • Large skillet or wok
  • Frying thermometer or 1-inch cube of stale bread
  • Slotted spoon or spider
  • Wire rack
  • Cookie sheet
  • Cut the tips of the toes off all the chicken feet to remove the nails. Although the nails on chicken feet are not very long, they are still sharp and can hurt someone.

  • Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet until it reaches 350 degrees F. If you don't have a frying thermometer, you can test the temperature with a stale bread cube. At 350 degrees F, the bread will turn golden in about 15 seconds.

  • Fry the chicken feet in the hot oil until they turn golden brown, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon or spider. Remove them to a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet to drain.

  • Drain any excess oil from the pan or wok. Saute the garlic and ginger until the garlic starts to turn golden brown.

  • Return the chicken feet to the pan, along with the oyster sauce, soy sauce and fermented black beans. Add the water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the chicken feet are tender.

  • Add the sugar, green onions and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir in the cornstarch and water mixture, and let simmer about three minutes or until the sauce is thick.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can find fermented black beans in Asian specialty markets. If you can't find it, substitute Chinese black bean sauce or brown miso paste.
  • If the oil starts to splatter, cover the pan with a splatter screen. Hot oil splashes can burn you.

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