Minnesota Cooking: Chicken Paws Deep Fried
What are chicken paws, you ask? Well. I asked the same question. Upon looking closely at them, I see that they are the feet of some chickens that were butchered. What a novel idea. Don't waste any chicken parts.
I decided that I was going to try them.
Today was not the first day that I had seen these feet. I saw them a few months ago at the local grocery chain and I thought that at some point that I should try them.
I rinsed off the feet and then, put them in a large pan and covered them with water. I added some Old Bay Seasoned Salt, since when we boil crab legs that what we use and I have several containers of it. Plus, it has good flavor.
I did not clip the toenails off these feet. It was advised to do so, but, I left them on. It probably compares to eating shrimp with tails. You cannot eat the tails of shrimp, either.
Boil and Simmer First
It's not an obvious step, but, I was instructed to bring the feet to a boil and then, reduce heat and simmer for up to 2 hours.
Well. Right now, it's similar to cooking chicken gizzards. Sometimes, if you do not parboil them, when you try to eat them, they are hard to chew. Chicken feet may be the same way.
Bringing to a Boil
It takes about twelve minutes to bring water to a boil. So, when I brought them to a boil, I put a cover on the pan, and turned it down to half way between low and medium. I use an electric range, so it's hard to tell how hot it is at that point.
The recipe I referred to, said you had to parboil them for up to two hours. I set my timer for 2 hours.
Preparing for Deep Frying
The recipe was from the Serious Eats website, and it was written by The Nasty Bits.
The recipe I was looking at, said that they let their chicken feet cool before they deep fried them. I don't know why you'd have to do that, unless it's because their were coated in an egg wash and the egg would start to harden from the heat.
So. Cool, if we must.
The easiest trick to coating these, will be one container to dip them in to coat with Fry Magic. Then, another container with a couple beaten eggs. Then, a third container with some more Fry Magic again.
Some people may dip them in something sticky before they dip in the first container. Maybe some milk or water. The catch 22 is that on the second step you dip in the egg wash, but there needs to be Fry Magic on them before they go into the egg wash, or the egg wash will just drip off before you coat with Fry Magic for the second time.
Options for Simmering from The Nasty Bits
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 stick cinnamon
So, I did not use these spices. I used a generous amount of Old Bay, probably 2 tablespoons in the water. I will drain it off when the two hours is over.
I have to laugh, since my grandchildren are coming to camp at grandma's tonight, and I'm sure my chicken feet will raise a few eyebrows.
Are you a Chicken Feet Fan?
Two Hours of Parboiling is Almost Up
Progressing to the next step as soon as the timer beeps.
Okay, so now I have cooked all the chicken feet that I had. I bought a pack of feet. There were twelve of them.
The flavor is of the Zatarains Coating Mix, which does enhance the flavor. I'm going to assume that the Seasoned Salt that I cooked them in, is infused in the meat. The flavor and texture is a little different.
The texture is soft. There are bones in the middle of the foot, so you spend much of your time sucking the little bits of chicken flavored stuff off.
No chewing allowed!