Add the chicken feet, 1.5 liters of water, Chinese cooking wine, scallions, ginger slices, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, lemon peel, lemon juice, and maltose to a big pot, then bring it to a boil. The citrus aroma from the lemon peel helps to remove the unpleasant smell. The maltose will enhance the mallard reaction and give the chicken feet that desired golden brown color. If you don't have it, feel free to use sugar.
Remove the chicken feet from the water onto a rack until they cool to lukewarm. Reserve the blanching liquid on the side
Cut off the chicken nails by using a pair of kitchen scissors. Then dab the excess moisture with paper towels.
The next step is to fry the chicken feet until golden brown, which you can do by air frying in an air dryer (360 F for 18-25 minutes), deep frying in oil (360F for 12-15 minutes), or you can roast the chicken feet in the oven(400F for 30-40 minutes and flip the chicken feet every 10-15 minutes). If you choose the deep frying method, it is best to dry the chicken feet furthermore by leaving them in the fridge uncovered overnight to avoid oil splattering.
Soak the chicken feet in the reserved blanching liquid for 1.5 hours. Optionally, add 1.5 tbsp of red yeast rice powder to enhance the vibrant red color. You can skip it or use food coloring as it doesn't affect the taste.
While waiting, you can prepare the sauce. Stir the fermented black beans, minced garlic, and minced ginger with a drizzle of oil over medium-low heat until the aromatics are golden. Turn off the heat, then add soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and Chuhou paste. Mix thoroughly.
Chop the chicken feet into smaller pieces, then mix them with the sauce.
Put the pre-soaked peanuts on the plate and place the chicken feet on the top. If you skip the peanuts, use 1/2 tbsp of less soy sauce to adjust the saltness.
Steam the chicken feet over medium heat for 1.5 hours. Please make sure the pot is filled with enough water to avoid evaporating to dry.
Garnish the chicken feet with some diced scallions and red chilies.