Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Duck Wing & Chicken Feet Stew – Going to Extremes

It’s strange but when life is tough and spending power low, people get more creative in amortizing their money. When I was young, nothing in my household went to waste. Books were passed on to younger siblings, or, in my case, as I was an only kid, given to relatives and friends. I would think twice about indulging in a 2nd pair of jeans, and especially, about throwing away perfectly edible food.

I remember vividly how my family would slaughter and apportion a chicken. The best parts of the torso would be used for the main dish, while sub-grade pieces and offal would be set aside to become ingredients for another dish. The bones and feet would be tossed into the stockpot, or, as in this instance, made into a tasty and wonderful dish for nibbling.

Duck wings and duck webs were often deemed suitable only for making stock, yet when stewed, their taste was sublime. I would often cook these underrated pieces with chicken feet or pig belly, and when the dish was kept overnight, it tasted even better. Here’s the recipe I used.

Duck Wing & Chicken Feet Stew

Duck wing                                10, cut into 2
Chicken feet                             10, whole
Dried shitake                           10, soak in water for 20 mins. Drain and keep the water
Oil                                              2 tbsp. preferably lard
Garlic                                        12, whole
Sugar                                        ½ tbsp
Oyster sauce                            2 tbsp
White pepper                           a dash
Japanese cooking wine          ½ cup
Chicken stock                           1 cup
Salt                                              ½ tsp
Dark soy sauce                         1 tbsp

Oyster sauce                            ½ tbsp
Ginger juice                              ½ tsp
Japanese cooking wine           ½ tsp
Light soy sauce                         ¼ tsp

  1. Marinade duck wing and chicken feet for 1 hour. Drain.
  2. Heat oil. Gently fry garlic until golden brown. Remove and drain. Set aside.
  3. Saute mushroom for 5 minutes in low heat. Add sugar at mid-point.
  4. Increase heat to maximum, sauté meat until it is golden brown.
  5. Add oyster sauce and white pepper, and continue to fry for one minute at high heat.
  6. Pour Japanese cooking wine and let the spirit evaporate.
  7. Add chicken stock and cover the pot.  Simmer for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. Don’t overcook the meat.
  8. Add garlic and simmer for another 10 minutes with the lid removed.
  9. Reduce stock until it thickens.
  10. Season with salt and dark soy sauce.
  11. Serve hot.