Dairy prices are down, venison keeps falling, electricity is up and the courier companies are screwing us left, right and center, so here at Back Yard Farmer we are not wasting anything. We have worked out using almost everything from the garden and are now working on using every part of the back yard chickens, starting with what we always discarded, the feet. I have often eaten chicken feet, mostly in some Asian restaurant, and the very best I had was on a recent business trip to Qingdao, China (along with an assortment of scorpions, tasty bugs and larvae like things – the food of the future). Strange how Chinese food does not taste as good in restaurants outside China. The same goes for Italian food, I suppose, unless one cooks oneself, so, here is Mrs BYF’s version of chicken feet – delicious although the cook was a bit squeamish to start off with.
Zampe di Gallina
Chicken Feet Arrabiata (Arrabiata means angry – so this is quite hot)
4 chicken wings or any other part of the chicken that is not dry white meat, skin on
6 to 8 chicken feet, nails removed (I had to do that myself, Mrs BYF baulked)
1 piece of fresh ginger just bigger than a thumb finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 large red chilli or as much as you can take, finely chopped
1 litre of chicken stock
small handful of parsley and sage finely chopped
4 table spoons of olive oil
1 cup of wine, red or white
Pre heat the oven to 200 deg
Use a cast iron pot with a close fitting lid, big enough to take all the chicken. Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pot and brown the chicken pieces well on all sides. Remove and add the feet, cook on medium high for a few minutes. Remove the feet. Add the rest of the olive oil to the pot and add the chilli and garlic. Cook until the garlic is soft but not coloured. deglase the pot with the wine, cook until the wine bubbles. Add the chicken, feet and all to the pot, and cover the chicken with the stock. Bring to the boil on the stove, cover the pot with the lid and place the pot in the oven. Cook for 3 hours, twenty minutes before serving, add the parsley and sage. Eat with polenta.
Do not forget to enjoy this dish with lots of red wine! ENJOY!