I am what you would call a born-again picky eater. In my youth, the list of foods I refused to eat was incredibly long, but now I think I can be convinced to try almost anything. So, I decided to test that theory when I pitched a new 225 Dine series about taste testing unusual or unique dishes in Baton Rouge.
Chicken feet, or Fèng zhuǎ,are served all over the world but are especially popular in Chinese cuisine. The feet are deep-fried or steamed to prep the skin so it puffs up nicely. Then they are stewed or simmered in a sauce flavored with various spices. Because they consist of mostly skin and tendons with very little muscle, chicken feet have a distinctly different texture from other parts of the chicken.
My confidence was wavering a bit, though, by time I walked into Dim Sum for dinner. The place was full of happy patrons enjoying steamed buns, dumplings and more traditional Chinese fare. Once I ordered, I waited a bit nervously for my food.
The dish arrived in a silver round tin served on Dim Sum’s traditional white and blue china. It was steaming hot, and the aroma of spice hit my nostrils like a freight truck. I dove in.
Texture-wise, chicken feet take some getting used to. They’re more gelatinous than other parts of the chicken. Flavor-wise, though, these chicken feet were unbelievable. Like other Chinese dishes, the spice on this dish wasn’t overwhelmingly hot but still packed a punch of complex flavors. The feet were crispy and golden brown throughout.
All in all, I’m glad I went to Dim Sum for this unique dish. It was an interesting experience, but it’s now a dish I think I’d order again—alongside the usual favorites from its menu.
Dim Sum Restaurant is at 9431 Delcourt Ave.
This is the first in a series of stories on unusual—but tasty—foods you can order around Baton Rouge. Know of something we should try? Let us know in the comments!