Deep fried chicken feet is about as Southern Soul food as you can get. The dish was originally dreamed up by the African slaves living on large plantations in Southern USA during the 17th century. They (for the most part) lived in poor, squalid conditions, and were usually given the “leftovers” to eat, when it came to meat. Animal parts, like intestines, feet, skins, hooves, heads, etc., were what the women had to work with in their kitchens.
Due to their innate skills and creativity when it came to preparing foods, they made some amazingly tasty meals out of what the white people considered garbage. These deep fried chicken feet are just one example of truly exemplary originality and culinary satisfaction they achieved, in spite of their dire circumstances.
Deep Fried Chicken Feet Recipe-
- 1 lb. chicken feet (you may not find them on display at your local grocery store, but almost any store with a meat/butchery department can produce them for you upon request – and they are cheap!)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger root
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 stick cinnamon
For deep frying-
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup flour mixed with 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 quart oil
- Clip the toenails off of the chicken feet and wash them. Removing any loose-hanging skin and the tough callouses.
- Place them in a 2 quart sauté pan; add enough water to cover the feet entirely.
- Add in all the simmering ingredients and bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to just a lively simmer.
- Cook for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until the feet are fully tenderized.
- Remove the feet from the pan; you may want to reserve the cooking liquid, for use in other recipes.
- Set the cooked feet aside, and allow them to cool to room temperature
- Whisk the eggs until frothy in a wide, shallow bowl; place the flour in another wide, shallow bowl, and mix in the salt.
- Dip and dredge the feet in the eggs, and then in the flour; shake off any excess flour. You may want to repeat this two-step process to ensure the feet are well covered and battered.
- Bring a quart of oil to 375° Fahrenheit in a wok. Working in batches, add in the chicken feet, and deep-fry until the batter has turned a rich, deep golden brown – about 4 to 5 minutes should do it.
- That’s it, you are done! Serve your deep fried chicken feet while nice and hot, with any number of other Southern Soul food dishes.
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