Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stewed Chicken Feet with Spring Onions and Exotic Mushrooms

Ahh, few things are more tasty than tendon!  Plus a sweet, spicy, zesty sauce!  How can this be bad?  Cooked until tender and finished with fresh herbs, chicken feet are among the more exotic and delicious appetizers in Asian cuisine.  

My first experience with chicken feet happened at a local Dim Sum restaurant, and they were stewed in a spicy, thick sauce.  I took a bite and gently removed the edible tissue from the small bones and discarded the bones.  I have been hooked ever since.  

Chicken feet are filled with small bones and delicious tendon and skin.  Throughout the world, the feet are a delicacy and can be grilled, fried, or boiled.  The Asian market sells boneless feet, which will make it a little easier to eat, but there are still a few small pieces of bone, so be careful.

Chan Ga Hap An Voi Xot Nam Hanh La-Stewed Chicken Feet with Exotic Mushrooms and Spring Onions

1lb. boneless chicken feet
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 spring onions sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
¼ cup canola oil
2 cups exotic mushrooms (enoki, beech, oyster, etc.)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Vietnamese Coriander

2 tbsp mirin
½ cup chicken stock
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp nuoc mam
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt

Make sure chicken feet are cleaned and blanche for about 25-30 minutes.  Remove them and run under cold water to chill and prevent discoloration.  Mix all the ingredients for the sauce.  Toss the feet with soy sauce, and let them marinate for a few minutes.  Heat oil in a wok or large pan, fry for about 5 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown.  Remove the feet to a side pan.   

Leaving a few tablespoons of oil in the wok, add the ginger, garlic, and onions.  Stir fry for a few minutes, and add the feet.  Toss everything gently and deglaze with the mixed sauce.  Let the feet and seasoning stew for about 10 minutes.  Add the mushrooms, and continue to cook until mushrooms and feet are done.  The sauce should thicken, and check for seasoning.  Finish with some torn herbs, sesame seeds and a side bowl of rice.  A few small bones might be in the feet, but they should be soft enough to eat, or just remove them and enjoy.  

"Do you remember rock n roll radio?"  Joey Ramone said these immortal words, and it might ring truer now than in 1980.  So I dug into the files and busted out some old R.E.M which included one of my favorites tunes "7 Chinese Brothers" from the Reckoning album.  College radio was a staple in the 80's and 90's, and the Athens quartet was a force.  Chicken feet and R.E.M., now that is an afternoon, and I loved it. 

The weather was slightly humid, and I was unsure of the direction of my alcoholic beverage.  Therefore, I decided to go to an old staple- the Pina Colada.  When in doubt, this frozen tropical drink seems to put a smile on my face.  Put 4oz. Coco Lopez, 4 oz. pineapple chunks with juice, 3 oz. Spiced Rum, and a few cups of ice into a blender and puree until you have the texture of a smoothie.  Add more of any of the above ingredients according to taste, but if you add more liquid, then you will need to add a few more ice cubes.  Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!!  

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