"These morsels of skin and bones are a unique combination of textures--the wrinkled, puffed skin on the surface and the soft, gelatinous tendons within.
Goose and duck feet have ample amounts of webbing; when stewed, they are delicate and tender with a hint of chewiness that resembles the texture of simmered sheets of bean curd. While goose and duck feet are more prized in Chinese cuisine, I prefer the meatiness of a chicken's foot.
In restaurants, I've always wondered why the feet (and the meat in pork buns, for that matter) are a hue of red like the lacquer of Chinese wooden furniture. Still, the showy color of the chicken feet mirrors the feel of a dim sum meal: flamboyant and pleasurably excessive."
So, they look like shriveled up old witches feet (or something equally creepy). I'm game.
- 1 pound chicken feet (about 1 dozen)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 quarts oil
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 3 pieces star anise
For the marinade:
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons black bean sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shao-xing rice wine, sake, or vermouth
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
- 1 ounce dried red chile pepper, broken up, or 1 jalapeño, sliced