Crispy Chicken Feet

Years ago when living in Dallas, I would often go and eat dim sum on the weekends, something that is definitely missing in Milwaukee. One of those dim sum items was soft and tender chicken feet. Yep, I tried them (what’s not to try), and I can’t say that I was a big fan on the texture of them. Somewhat gelatinous with too many bones. OK, I was not a fan. But on a recent outing to one of our local ethnic grocery stores, I saw a package of them and decided to make them, only this time crispy. See my oldest is a huge fan of crispy chicken wings, and as these chicken feet with super cheap, I decided I would see if I could crisp them up and not only try them, but to also see if my oldest would eat them, or like them. Indeed he did!

Crispy Chicken Feet Recipe
Crispy Chicken Feet Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 1 lb of chicken feet, nails removed
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 4 cups of water, or enough to cover the chicken feet
  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • Your favorite BBQ seasoning
  • parchment paper

Start by clipping the nails off of the feet. I did this by using my kitchen shears and clipping at the knuckle joint. Discard.

To a large bowl, add the feet, and rinse them thoroughly in cold water.

Next, add the feet to a medium sized pot, add the soy sauce, garlic, salt, and cover them with water.

Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the feet to another bowl, let cool, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Crispy Chicken Feet
Crispy Chicken Feet

The following day, remove the feet, and pour out any excess water.

To a medium sized pot, on low heat, add in the oil. Then after a few minutes add in the chicken feet. At first I was going to deep fry these, but there is so much skin that I knew oil would be popping everywhere, and I did not want that. I simply wanted to slow cook them for about 15 minutes on low heat to continue to cook them. After about 15 minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon or spider, to a paper towel lined sheet pan to let any excess oil drain off.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

To a sheet pan, add the parchment paper to cover. Add the chicken feet and sprinkle your favorite barbecue seasoning all over the feet. Stir around so that all of the chicken feet are covered with seasoning.

Place them into the oven, and slow roast until they are nice and crispy, about 45 minutes to a hour. Every oven is a bit different so keep an eye on them until they are nice and dark golden brown and crispy.

Remove from the oven, place them in a bowl, and dig in.

Were these good? Yeah, they were pretty darn good. My oldest loved them and was eating them all to the base of the feet, and my middle guy was suspicious and tried one and it kind of freaked him out, as they probably might to most Americans. But I will admit that these are common snacks in Asian countries, and if you are looking for something unique to serve up, give these a try. They are cheap, and pretty darn tasty. Hope you enjoy!

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Queso con Carne

Queso con carne. That pretty much translates to cheese with meat, or what I consider deliciousness. I will admit that this is something that I only make about one time a year, as I typically never buy the Velveeta cheese. Trust me, I look at that cheese, or glance for that matter, and always think to myself what the heck is that stuff. I never look at the label, the calories, but only the box. But this time of year, I pick it up, and I know what I am making with it. Cheese crack, I mean queso con carne.

Queso Con Carne Recipe
Queso Con Carne Recipe

It’s an ultimate game day food, and it holds well for days to come. It’s the scoopable dip, and one that my family loves.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Velveeta cheese
  • 8 oz can of Ro-tele
  • 6 oz lager beer
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (reduce if too spicy)
  • 1 lb cooked ground chuck or beef
  • Crispy tortilla chips

Start by cooking your beef until slightly crispy. Drain the fat from the beef, and return to the pot.

Next add in the beer, cayenne pepper, and the block of Velveeta cheese. Reduce the heat to a simmer, low, and cover, cooking until you have a smooth sauce. Adjust your heat to your patience. I know, you want it and you want it now, so if you do not want to cook on low heat, adjust the temperature, stir, and just make sure it does not burn.

Does Velveeta even burn? Who knows.

Ingredients for Queso con Carne
Ingredients for Queso con Carne

When the queso is nice and smooth, serve into a small bowl, or large for that matter, and serve alongside crispy tortilla chips.

Scoop and dig in. This is something I make for my wife once a year (maybe twice), but now my kids are totally loving this stuff as well. I should consider making this into a grilled cheese, but the only exception is that it is all gone!

Hope you enjoy, and cannot wait until warmer weather gets to us!

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Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon

This past Thanksgiving was pretty darn good. As you recall I made a couple of different turkeys, including a smoked turkey breast that was out of this world. My mother-n-law laid out a few appetizers before the big feast, and one of them was this great smoked salmon she picked up from Empire Fish in our area. Everyone surrounded that smoked salmon like they have never eaten in days, it was that good. So the following week, I remembered I had purchased a salmon that was on sale not too long ago, and I brought it up, only to be placed onto the smoker.

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Recipe
Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Recipe

Any time I can mask mustard into a recipe, as my wife does not like mustard, I do, and this was one of those occasions. This recipe uses a dill and mustard spread over the top, that almost builds this awesome smokey crust on the salmon, and impart packs a bunch of additional flavor.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole salmon filet, bones removed, skin on
  • 1/2 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • Cherry wood chips, soaked in water
  • Smoker
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Start by getting your smoker started. Again, I use my Weber grill with the Smokenator 1000 accessory, which works really well, but use what you have.

In the meantime, rub the meat side of the salmon with the yellow mustard, then sprinkle on the dill. That’s it.

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Ingredients
Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Ingredients

Before placing the salmon onto the smoker, I liked to brush a bit of oil on the grates where you are going to place the salmon to prevent the skin from sticking. Place the fish, skin side down onto the oiled grates, cover, and let smoke until your internal temperature of the salmon reads 150 degrees on your food thermometer.

Carefully lift up, and place on a plate.

Let cool for about 15 minutes or so, and then dig in. The end result is a perfectly smoked salmon that just flakes apart. When I served this up, it reminded me a lot like that Thanksgiving day. Everyone was picking at it and placing on top of crackers. Regardless, it was super delicious, and was way too easy to make. Hope you enjoy, and happy holidays to everyone!

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Spicy Michelada

I will admit that I like a good bloody mary. It’s one of those drinks that I typically will only drink during the brunch time of the day, and in particular on a Sunday. I have no idea why, but I’m sure you could probably twist my arm and get me to drink one on a Saturday as well. My wife on the other hand is not a fan of a bloody mary, probably due to the tomato juice, but for me I love everything about it, even though I am not a huge fan of tomato juice. It’s the spice that I love! Now there is a simple twist to a bloody mary, and instead of using vodka as the booze of choice, you use a simple lager. It’s called the michelada, and it takes a strong first against a bloody mary.

Spicy Michelada Recipe
Spicy Michelada Recipe

The michelada is basically a tomato and beer mix that is loaded with an array of spices, and they say they a cure for a hangover. Who knows about that, but whatever the case the premix is the key, in my opinion, in making a great michelada.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp maggi sauce
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Tajin seasoning
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Few drops of habanero sauce
  • 5 oz tomato juice
  • 6 oz pilsner beer
  • ice cubes

You will want to make the premix the day, or night ahead to let all of the flavors form. Trust me, it’s a knock out mix of flavors.

Start by adding the maggi, Tabasco, Worchestershire, fish sauce, Tajin, lime juice, lemon juice, and habanero sauce to a small container. Stir well, cover, and place in the refrigerator over night.

How to make a michelada
How to make a michelada

The following day, fill a glass with ice cubes. If you want, you can rim the glass with Tajin seasoning. I prefer not to as there is so much flavor already in the premix.

Pour the premix into the glass, then the tomato juice. Give this a good stir, then top with the beer. Sip and enjoy. This premix is so robust it will possibly have you second guessing that bloody mary. Enjoy!

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