Hear me out -- chicken feet really are an essential dim sum dish.
Euphemized as "phoenix talons," chicken feet have never gone out of style.
No family Sunday dim sum meal is complete without the sight of grandma carefully working her mouth muscles around a chicken foot, then lowering her head -- but not her chopsticks -- to spit out the miniscule bones.
Kids love it too as the chicken feet are usually smothered in a strong-flavored sauce of black bean paste and sugar.
And for out-of-towners new to Cantonese food, a basket of phoenix talons are a great conversation starter and a challenge to their sense of adventure.
Our favorite is the abalone sauce chicken feet. These are slow-cooked and never deep-fried beforehand, unlike the traditional kind.