Can’t Beat Chicken Feet

Tastes like chicken – what a cliché. The thing about clichés is that they are actually sort of useful, and you might be surprised at how many things really do taste like chicken. In my travels I have eaten a lot of things, things I never even imagined were edible.

Frog tastes like chicken. I’ve had frog legs in Cajun cuisine in America as well as in France. In Thailand I had a whole frog, they just picked one off a string and hacked it into bite-sized bits with a cleaver. I didn’t know if I was eating heads or tails. Frog is a little bit chewy, but ya know what, it tastes surprisingly like chicken.

I ate a rattlesnake once. I was camping in the States and it decided to come a little too close for comfort, so we ate it. It learned it’s lesson, I guess. Do you know what I learned? Snake tastes like chicken too.

Escargot tastes like chicken once you get over the rubber texture. Rabbit can taste like chicken. I’ve even eaten fish that tasted like chicken. But one thing that might not surprise you is that chicken tastes like chicken. You are probably saying “DUH!” but really, every part of a chicken tastes pretty much exactly the same.

Taiwanese people like to use the whole animal so you get all the parts, or at least you can. When you buy a chicken at the grocery store you get the whole thing, I mean the head the neck the feet and the guts. Over the past few months I have been working my way through the vast world of chicken bits.

The first odd bit (odd to me) I tried was the heart. I remember when I was a kid and we got to see chicken hearts in science class and it never crossed my mind to eat it. Here, though, you can find them everywhere. Hearts in soup, stir fry or BBQ. Now I realize that I shouldn’t be surprised, but when you eat something out of your comfort zone and it tastes, well, like chicken, it’s the teensiest bit shocking. So yeah, chicken hearts are a new favorite of mine.

The next leap I took into the great chicken sea was the neck. It was a repeat of the heart experience. Wow, chicken neck tastes like the rest of the chicken, but honestly it seems like a lot of work for little pay off.

I kept trying different bits and pieces. I even tried chicken butt (not bad really), and chicken balls (some locals thought it would be funny to watch the foreigner eat balls without realizing it).  The last chicken hurtle was the foot. I just couldn’t get over the idea of a chicken scratching around in the dirt and in its own poop with its foot and then putting that foot in my mouth, but it’s a favorite among Taiwanese.

I decided it had to be done. I got spicy, deep-fried chicken feet at the night market. They were a little greasy, and didn’t have a lot of meat. The meat that was there was chewy. The biggest hurdle was figuring out what I was supposed to eat, feet are full of tendons and bones. I’m glad I tried them and there may be more feet in my future. One thing’s for sure thought, they taste like chicken.



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