Chicken Feet

December 06, 2005

This is an email exchange from last week. I thought it was worth sharing.

From: Ben S. Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:34 PM To: Steve D. Subject: Office debate We're amidst a debate where you might know the real answer. You might not, but you�re the only one I know who even has a shot at knowing. Here�s the question: If you order the chicken feet at Dim Sum, do you eat the whole thing, bone and all, or do you just try to gnaw off what little flesh is on the chicken feet? Ben

Chicken Feet
From: Steve D. Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:51 PM To: Ben S. I do know this. You knaw off the flesh. There is not much flesh. It would take about $12,000 worth of chicken to make the average human full.
From: Steve D. Wednesday, November 30, 2005 2:13 PM To: Ben S. the internet once again proves that it has absolutely anything you possibly want to know ... The most frequently asked question concerning chicken feet after "Uh, do you eat the nails?" is "Why do you eat chicken feet? There's no meat." It's true that there's not much flesh on chicken feet but that's not the reason why fans enjoy them...and, hello, McFly, the nails are clipped. Anyway, the appeal of chicken feet is more nuanced than simply tearing a hunk of muscle off bone and gnashing it. If you've ever eaten chicken feet, then you know the first sensation to greet you is the velvety smooth skin, so delicate it peels easily off of the diminutive bones. Following the tantalizing texture is the perky sweetness of the dish that will make your taste buds jump for joy. Finally and unexpectedly, you'll be pleased by how succulent the tendon and ligaments are. To achieve these pleasant characteristics the chicken feet are cooked in a four-part process. Basically, they cook the hell out of it. How else would you turn skin-tight, tendony, throwaway parts not even a famished, rabid hyena would eat into a small culinary miracle? Not surprisingly, chicken feet's explosion of flavor comes from a dream team of seasoning and spices - star anise, chile, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce and black bean converge to form a savory magic potion. You will taste every pod of spice, dash of seasoning and drop of sauce when you wriggle your tongue in ways you never thought you could, maneuvering and coaxing every delicious, edible bit off of the bone. Chicken feet is infamously difficult to eat but once you've mastered the technique you'll be spitting out clean bones like a tommy gun blasts rounds of bullets. Eating chicken feet is like learning to tango with your tongue; only here a chicken's foot is your dance partner. Ladies, if you're one of those talented honeys hangin' out at bars tying maraschino cherry stems with only your tongue, then polishing off a tin of chicken feet will be a snap. Also, any woman who's never tasted chicken feet and tries it, automatically gets the Extreme Makeover bump in my eyes - she's instantly sexier. What can I say? Chicken feet: it's cheaper than a nip and tuck.

I should site the original page where this brilliantly written review appeared.

If you're interest is piqued, you can try chicken feet at Dim Sum on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge. Let me know if it's as good as it sounds.