Chicken feet and other chicken parts for sale on a roadside cart in Haikou, Hainan, China.
|Alternative name(s)||feng zhao, ji jiao, ji zhao, Ceker|
|Place of origin||China, Korea, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, South Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, Philippines, Middle East and Vietnam|
|Main ingredient(s)||Chicken feet|
|Cantonese Jyutping||fung6 zaau2|
|Literal meaning||Fenghuang claws
Phoenix talons (claws)
Chicken feet are a part of the chicken that is eaten in China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, South Africa, Peru, Mexico, Philippines, Middle East and Vietnam. Most of the edible tissue on the feet consists of skin and tendons, with no muscle. This gives the feet a distinct texture different from the rest of the chicken's meat. Its many small bones make it difficult to eat for some; these are often picked before serving. Being mostly skin, chicken feet are very gelatinous.
Chicken feet are utilized in several regional Chinese cuisines; they can be served as a beer snack, cold dish, soup or main dish. They are interchangeably called feng zhua (鳯爪, phoenix claws), ji zhao (鷄爪, chicken claws), and ji jiao (雞脚, chicken feet).
In Guangdong and Hong Kong, they are typically deep fried and steamed first to make them puffy before being stewed and simmered in a sauce flavoured with black fermented beans, bean paste, and sugar; or in abalone sauce.
In mainland China, popular snack bars specializing in marinated food such as yabozi (duck's necks) also sell lu ji zhua (鹵雞爪, marinated chicken feet), which are simmered with soy sauce, Sichuanese peppercorn, clove, garlic, star anise, cinnamon and chili flakes. Today, packaged chicken feet are sold in most grocery stores and supermarkets in China as a snack, often seasoned with rice vinegar and chili. Another popular recipe is bai yun feng zhao (白雲鳯爪), which is marinated in a sauce of rice vinegar, rice wine flavored with sugar, salt, and minced ginger for an extended period of time and served as a cold dish. In southern China, they also cook chicken feet with raw peanuts to make a thin soup.
The huge demand in China raises the price of chicken feet, which are often used as fodder in other countries. As of June 2011, 1 kg of raw chicken feet costs around 12 to 16 yuan in China, compared to 11-12 yuan for 1 kg of frozen chicken breast. In 2000, Hong Kong, once the largest entrepôt for shipping chicken feet from over 30 countries, traded a total of 420,000 tons of chicken feet at the value of US$230 million. Two years after China joined the WTO in 2001, China has approved the direct import of American chicken feet, and since then, China has been the major destination of chicken feet from around the globe.
Chicken feet (닭발) are basted in a hot red pepper sauce and then grilled. They are often eaten as a second course and served with alcohol.
Chicken feet are known as ceker in Malaysia and are traditionally popular mostly among Malays of Javanese, Chinese and Siamese descent. Many traditional Malay restaurants in the state of Johor offer chicken feet that are cooked together with Malay-style curry and eaten with roti canai. In the state of Selangor, chicken feet are either boiled in soup until the bones are soft with vegetables and spices or deep fried in palm oil. Chicken feet are also eaten by [Malaysian Chinese] in Malaysia in traditional Chinese cooking style.
In Trinidad, the chicken feet are cleaned, seasoned, boiled in seasoned water, and left to soak with cucumbers, onions, peppers and green seasoning until cool. It is eaten as a party dish called chicken foot souse.
South African cuisine
In South Africa, chicken feet are mainly eaten in townships in all nine provinces, where they are known as "walkie talkies" (together with the head, intestine, hearts and giblets) and "chicken dust", respectively. The feet are submerged in hot water, so the outer layer of the skin can be removed by peeling it off, and then covered in seasonings and grilled. The name "chicken dust" derives from the dust chickens create when scratching the ground with their feet.
In Jamaican cuisine, chicken feet are mainly used to make chicken foot soup. The soup contains yams, potatoes, green/yellow banana, dumplings and special spices in addition to the chicken feet, and is slow cooked for a minimum of two hours. Chicken feet are also curried or stewed and served as a main part of a meal.
Chicken feet are a popular ingredient across Mexico, particularly in stews and soups. They are often steamed to become part of a main dish with rice, vegetables and most likely another part of the chicken, such as the breast or thighs. The feet can be seasoned with mole sauce. On occasion, they are breaded and fried.
Many people will also take the chicken feet in hand as a snack and chew the soft outer skin. The inner bone structure is left uneaten.
In the Philippines, chicken feet are marinated in a mixture of calamansi, spices and brown sugar before being grilled. A popular staple in Philippine street food, chicken feet are commonly known as "adidas" (named after the athletic shoe brand Adidas).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chicken feet (food).|
- Christopher DeWolf, Izzy Ozawa, Tiffany Lam, Virginia Lau, and Zoe Li (13 July 2010). "40 Hong Kong foods we can't live without". CNN Go. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- Shimabukuro, Betty. "Dive In, Feet First", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 11 November 1998.
- 中国入世 香港「鸡脚港」失守, China Review News, 21 November 2005.
- "Hong Kong Dim Sum Dishes", Global Gourmet, January 2007.
- Chicken Feet Take Off In Soweto, Johannesburg News Agency, 31 May 2004.
- "My Adidas", Burnt Lumpia, 6 August 2008.