When we were in New Orleans a few months ago, we had Dana Pullen’s Chicken Feet and Rice at a little out of the way diner. It was so good, we wanted to lick our feet, I mean, fingers. It was a little hole in the wall place, you know the type, not listed in travel books, better than any Zagat listed restaurant…I asked the waitress for the recipe, and she finally agreed, as long as I promised not to share it with any one else. But you won’t tell, ’cause we’re friends, right??
handwritten by our waitress-
Dana Pullen’s Chicken Feet and Rice
You can’t get chicken feet at the supermarket these days, so you gotta go to a butcher store and beg for them*. (They are usually thrown away) Once you get them, rinse them off, drop them into a pot of hot boiling water for five minutes and then take them out and the outer skin will just roll right off. Make sure you get it all off because there’s no telling where the chicken’s been walkin’. Now that the skin is cleared off, take your cast iron dutch oven, cover the bottom with oil, put in the feet and fry til golden brown. Then put in a handful of chopped onions and one toe of garlic (flattened). Fry the onions until you can see through them. Put the desired amount of rice (depending on the amount of people you are feeding) and cover with water. Salt pepper, and bring to a boil. Put the lid on and cook until the rice is fluffy and the chicken feet are tender.
Now this part is IMPORTANT:
The only way to eat a chicken foot is to gnaw on it. The round ball of the foot is the best part. The are a gristly kind of thing and can be used in soups, but best when fried.
*Even though Ms. Pullen says you can’t find chicken feet in the supermarket, I have talked to a lot of people who have seen them there.
This recipe is also printed in one of my favorite cookbooks “White Trash Cooking” By Ernest Mickler.
Happy April 1st.