Chicken Feet Is The Crunchy Bar Snack Seriously Underappreciated In The US

It may come as no surprise that chicken is the most consumed meat in America. Around 8 billion chickens are eaten in the U.S. per year, according to Comfy Living, which breaks down to about 22 million chickens a day. This makes sense, as chicken is a versatile meat that is delicious no matter how you prepare it, whether braised, broiled, or on a beer can.

However, while wings, thighs, and breasts are often the first parts of the chicken to go, there are also some overlooked cuts of the bird, including chicken feet or paws. The clawed and chewy chicken feet are, unfortunately, widely unpopular in the states, where you may get a look of confusion or disgust if you serve up the extremities. But there are many countries around the world where chicken feet are a popular snack, especially in Southeast Asia.

Whether you're in Korea or China, you are likely to run into this delicacy at the dinner table or even at a bar where it is served alongside cold beer.

Chicken feet around the world

While chicken feet are popular all across Asia, China is where they're most prevalent, says Atlas Obscura. Chicken feet also go by a somewhat more appealing name in Chinese, fèng zhǎo, which means "phoenix talons." Chicken feet are a versatile dish prized for their collagen-rich health benefits, as they can be served hot or cold, spicy or mild. It's also not unlikely to see them either dressed up at a fancy dinner or served casually at a dive bar. The feet are often fried as a popular Cantonese dim sum dish, where they're covered in a delicious red bean sauce.

They're typically served as a bar snack in a spicy red pepper sauce in Korea. They're wonderfully crunchy and perfect for sharing at social gatherings with beer to wash down the spice, per The Soul of Seoul. In some areas of Southeast Asia, like Thailand and Malaysia, deboned chicken feet can even be mixed into salads, according to Clove Garden. Vietnam also serves grilled, boiled, and fried chicken feet that can be ordered from street food vendors or as an appetizer at a dine-in establishment, per Tuoi Tre News.

There's a lot to love about chicken feet, no matter how they're prepared or where they're eaten. While the U.S. still lacks love for this crunchy delicacy, it may be time to bring it to the American bar scene.