Are There Any Benefits in Eating Chicken Feet?
Do People Eat Chicken Feet?
Eating chicken feet may sound gross to you, but it is a delicacy with the Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Korean.
But they are not the only ones. Even non-Asians are eating chicken feet. The Jamaican, South African, Trinidadian, and South American have their own versions of chicken feet recipes.
What is so special about chicken feet?
Some say the reason people eat chicken feet is to avoid wasting any edible parts of the chicken. This could be true as most ethnic groups that ate chicken feet were traditionally from the lower income groups.
Others say chicken feet are good for health.
Chicken Feet for Clear Complexion
One of the positive, health-related benefits of eating chicken feet is a good, clear complexion. Research by the Department of Animal Science of National Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan showed that chicken feet contained a lot of collagen. Collagen, as you know is the ingredient for youthful-looking skin.
Chicken Feet and Collagen
The research at this Taiwanese University also confirmed chicken feet are good alternative sources for collagen. The usual sources for collagen are from bovine, pig and marine fish. But the production cost from these sources is very expensive.
It is not only rich in collagen, but also a good source of hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate. Hyaluronic acid is touted as the fountain of youth i.e. it can prevent the effects of aging. Chondroitin sulfate is good for osteoarthritis, hence good for people with joint problems.
What are Collagen and What Are Its Benefits?
Collagen can simply be described as a protein that acts as a glue that 'holds our body together'. The benefits are not only for the skin but also for the heart and can even improve athletic performance. Other benefits of taking collagen are:
- Healthier and younger looking skin
- Rich in calcium and protein, without the carbohydrates
- Improves blood supply by strengthening the blood vessels
- Assist the body in metabolizing fats, therefore good for weight loss
- Slows the effect of arthritis
- Reduce pain and swelling (inflammation)
Most collagen, or collagen supplements, are expensive. So, why should you pay so much when you can have a cheap or almost free alternative?
Use chicken feet in your soups, broths, and cooking to enjoy the benefits of collagen.
Drink Ingestible Collagens for Smoother and Firmer Skin?
For centuries, Asians have been taking certain foods and drinks to keep their complexion glowing. Now, beauty and pharmaceutical companies have started marketing beauty-from-within products and this includes collagen drinks.
Do they work?
Dr. Stefanie Williams, a dermatologist & medical director of European Dermatology London, says that some collagen drinks actually live up to their claims of providing better-looking skin.
Do you want to try?
Beauty Product That Uses Chicken Feet
BioCell Collagen, an American product that promotes younger-looking skin and active joints, makes their collagen peptide complex from chicken feet cartilage.
I have not tried this product yet but based on Amazon.com reviews by users, 67% gave it a 5-star rating and 5% gave a 1-star rating. This is from 392 reviewers.
Click on the Amazon advertisement (on the right) to read detail comments from these users.
Chicken Cartilage for Arthritis
Chicken feet consists of bones, skin, and tendons, but no muscles. These are packed with protein, calcium, collagen, and cartilage that are easily absorbed by the body. These are the essential nutrients required for good joint movement to minimize arthritis and joint pain.
Instead of buying supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin, use chicken feet in your soup or broth and enjoy a cheaper option for joint health.
This is why Chinese martial art experts like chicken feet so much!
Research on Uses of Chicken Feet
Powdered Chicken Feet to Regenerate Neutrons
Many years ago Dr. Harry Robertson did a research on the potential of chicken feet to regenerate nerves, bones, muscles, and its healing effect on spinal cord injury. The research and discoveries showed promising results.
However, it was subsequently stopped by the FDA and it was never continued. Issues with sanitation and testing methods were some of the reasons why it had to stop.
According to Dr. Robertson, chicken feet were the greatest medical advancement since the introduction of penicillin, and it was a shame that FDA had to stop this research.
Check out this article on Dr. Harry Robertson, for more information.
Now That You Know The Goodness Of Chicken Feet, Will You Eat Chicken Feet?
How to Cook Chicken Feet
Preparing Chicken Feet for Cooking
Are you now ready to enjoy the goodness of chicken feet? Let's get working then.
Cleaning chicken feet is quite easy, but if this is your first time, it can be a bit awkward. Follow the following steps and you will soon be an expert!
- Wash chicken feet thoroughly
- Next, rub them with salt to remove any stubborn stains
- Then scald the chicken feet in boiling water for about 3 minutes
- Let it cool before you peel the yellow membranes on the feet
- Using either a sharp knife or a kitchen scissor, chop off the tip of the claws/nails
The chicken feet are now ready for cooking.
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Chicken Feet Recipes
If you feel the urge to be adventurous, here are links to some chicken feet recipes from Asia and the Caribbean:
- Chinese Recipe: Braised Chicken Feet with Mushrooms & Ginger
- Filipino Recipe: Spicy Chicken Feet with Oyster and Soy Sauce
- Korean Recipe: Hot Sweet & Spicy Chicken Feet
- Trinidadian Recipe: Chicken Foot Souse
- South African Recipe: Walkie Talkie Recipe
- Jamaican Recipe: Chick'n 'Foot' Soup
- How to Make Stock from Chicken Feet from Simply Recipes
How to Eat Chicken Feet
It depends on the dish.
For the Chinese dim sum chicken feet recipe, the feet are marinated in soy sauce, black beans, and several spices. The fun is in sucking at the bone and enjoying the juice/sauce. You bite a piece of the foot, suck, and pull off the skin. It is scrumptious if it is properly cooked and marinated, and you should eat it. Remove the small bone from your mouth and continue with the other portion of your chicken foot.
For the Mexican chicken feet recipe that is breaded and fried, the soft outer skin is chewed, but the rest of the feet are left uneaten.
If chicken feet are used in soup, then eat all the parts except the bone. Alternatively, you can bite at one of the toes and suck in the juice.
If it was grilled, as in Filipinos dish "adidas," then bite off the skin and eat just like a drumstick. The bone? Toss it away.
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Where to Buy Chicken Feet
If you live in Asia or another country where chicken feet are a delicacy, you will have no problem. Otherwise, you can get them in most Asian butcheries. Alternatively, you can always ask your local butchers to keep them for you.
Frozen Chicken Feet
Still having problems buying chicken feet? Do not worry as frozen chicken feet are now sold online! Just search and you will find many companies offering them for sale.
These frozen chicken feet should be washed, cleaned, and graded according to size.
Grade A and A+ chickens will have feet between 4.7 to 6 inches (12-15 cm) in length.
Chicken Feet for Dogs
It seems the benefits of chicken feet are also enjoyed by our canine friends.
Some families fed their pet dogs with cooked as well as uncooked chicken feet (less the nails) and claimed to be good for their joint health. Since it is mostly cartilages, it is suitable for dogs that have problems chewing harder bones.
Dehydrated Chicken Feet
On Amazon.com, you can even buy the dehydrated, crunchy chicken feet for your dog. This 'Made in America' product advertised it as 'a good natural source of chondroitin and is good for dogs with a joint problem'. It went on to say that, these crispy pieces are perfect for any time snacks.
Can you feed cats with chicken feet?
It should not be a problem, but will your cat eat them?
Will More People Eat Chicken Feet?
Some say that it is difficult for the uninitiated to eat chicken feet as they looked like human hand. The idea of chewing on this "creepy stuff" already puts them off. It is hard for them to imagine chicken feet as food.
That was the case with chicken wings years ago. They used to be thrown away, but now demand has increased. In the USA, it was reported that sales of chicken wings peaked during Super Bowl, NFL Playoffs, and March Madness games.
Will this be the case with chicken feet? Will more people eat chicken feet?
What do you think?
Video on the Benefits of Eating Chicken Feet
I did a video to summarize the key highlights of this article. You can watch it here, or share it with your friends.