Chicken Foot Stock Recipe

When my friend, Jenn, contacted me and asked me if I knew how to make chicken stock out of chicken feet, I was really excited. I have made chicken stock extensively, so how different could it possibly be?!  That, and, if you guys know me, I just love using every part of an animal in cooking. Chicken feet? Bring it on!

Jenn needed the stock for a very noble cause, after all. She's on a mission to make chicken foot soup for her grandfather as he remembers it from his childhood. This is something very dear to my heart, as you might recall, last year, I made ravioli for my grandma which she had not had since her childhood.

So, on a Wednesday afternoon, Jenn and I made chicken foot stock!


I tried a new thing with my photos today. I hope you guys all enjoy it! 

In the center is our ingredients: two bags of chicken feet, onions, garlic, carrots, leeks, celery, parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaves. 

A word on the feet; we used organic chicken feet, and I have to say this is probably the way to go. Just think about it a moment and I am sure you will agree. 

A word on the rest of the ingredients-- what I love about stocks is that you can use what you have in them. I feel that onions, peppercorns, celery and carrots are a must, but beyond that, you know, whatever else you add is a bonus. So if you have some broccoli? Throw it in! Some leftover cabbage? Go for it! You get the idea, yea? 


Now before you just up and throw those feet in your stock pot, they have to be prepared. By "prepared" I basically mean you have to cut the nails off. This seemed a little daunting at first, but I assure you it wasn't as daunting as it initially seemed. To prepare the  toes for their clippin' you will need to boil the feet in water for about 20 minutes to soften them up a bit. 


While the feet are boiling (which is a funny thing to type to be honest!), prepare your stock pot with all your herbs and vegetables. It's not necessary to spend a whole lot of time chopping them small. Leave 'em big. And leave the skin on your onions--there is good flavor in there! 



After you've boiled up your feet and they are tender, you are going to want to drain them. Let them cool slightly until you can handle them without getting burned. We found that the best way to cut their nails off was with scissors. We almost didn't have to touch them this way. Not that we cared. We totally touched them. I had to take a picture of the nails... a little morbid, perhaps, but whatever. 


Once that clippin' is all over and done with, you are ready to add the feet to the pot. We had 32 feet in total--do you believe that?!?! 
Anyway, once you've added the feet, you are ready to get your water going. So add two gallons of water to the whole sha-banger. (Which is 32 cups of water). 

Then you bring it a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and make yourself a drink. I mean, you just clipped nails off of 32 chicken's feet--you deserve a drink. 



After the four hours is up, take that lid off the pot. Bring it back to a boil and let 'er go for another hour to hour and a half. I had to show you what the foot looked like after all that cooking.... neat huh? 


When the stock has thickened and it's done boiling to perfection, then you'll want to give it a taste and adjust seasonings...which pretty much to me means "add salt!" We added 3 palmfuls of kosher salt. 

Once you are satisfied with the flavor, it's time to drain your stock. 

Now, I think the best way to save my stock is to put it in mason jars and freeze it (and I like the multiple sizes because then I can choose as I go). Leave PLENTY of headspace in your jars if you are freezing because if you don't, your jar will burst. 


I was really pleased with what came out. And the color was nice too!!! All in all, a very productive day and an eye opening experience to chicken feet!!! 

Chicken Foot Stock: 

Time: 6-8 hours | Makes: Approx. 2 gallons of stock | Difficulty: Medium

You Will Need:

A super large stock pot (I borrowed mine from my mother in law--thanks Chris!) 

2 gallons of water (32 cups) 
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
2 bags of organic chicken feet ( 32 in total) 
1 pound of carrots
2 leeks
4 onions, 3 yellow 1 vidalia (you can use any combination, even red onions if you like!) 
1/2 bunch fresh parsley 
1 celery heart 
3 bay leaves
2 bulbs garlic (most of the outer skin removed) 

Method:

First prepare the feet. 

To prepare the feet place them in a pot. Cover the feet with water and bring to a boil. Allow the feet to boil for approximately 20 minutes. 

While the feet are boiling, prepare the pot that you will be boiling the stock in. You want a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients as well as two gallons (32 cups) of water. Cut your veggies into large pieces. There is no need to dice or get all fancy on them. For instance, I quarter my onions. Leave the skin of the onions on, there is a ton of flavor in there. For the garlic, remove the outer most skin, but don't worry about peeling each clove. Just break the bulbs up a bit and throw them in. Throw all your vegetables, herbs, and spices into the pot. 

When the feet are done boiling, they should be soft and pliable. Drain them in a colander and allow then to cool a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, clip off the nails of each chicken foot at the joint. It should be very easy. Discard the nails... or save them and take a picture, your choice. 

Once you have removed the nails, throw the feet into your stock pot with the veggies and add the two gallons of water. Stir to combine. Bring it all to a boil. 

When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for four hours. Opening occasionally to check and stir. 

After four hours, remove the lid and bring it up to a boil again. Allow it boil and reduce slightly for an hour to an hour and a half. 

Drain off the veggies (reserving stock in a LARGE bowl) and store. I recommend freezing. 







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