Making stock from chicken feet has been a human activity for thousands of years. Most of our grandmothers or great grandmothers used feet in their stock as a matter of fact. Stock made from chicken feet is fabulous, and incredibly good for you with all that gelatin.
- 2 pounds of pastured chicken feet
- 2 large carrots, cut in half
- 1 onion, cut into wedges
- 2 celery ribs, cut in half
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 peppercorns
Boil chicken feet initially for 5 minutes at a hard boil:
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Put the chicken feet into a large stock pot and cover with boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes.
Drain, rinse, and cut off and discard the tips of the claws:
Drain the chicken feet completely. Rinse with cold water so that the feet are cool enough to handle.
Using a sharp knife, chop off the tips of the claws and discard. They should cut easily if you cut them through the joint. If any rough patches of claw pad remain, cut them away with a paring knife.
Simmer the chicken feet for 4 hours:
Place chicken feet in a clean large stockpot. Fill with cold water to cover the feet by an inch. Add carrots, onions, celery, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and immediately reduce the temperature to low. Partially cover, leave about a half inch crack or so, and keep the stock cooking at a bare simmer, for 4 hours. Occasionally skim any foam that may come to the surface.
Uncover and continue simmering:
Uncover the pot and increase the heat slightly to maintain a low simmer with the pot now uncovered. Continue to cook for an hour or two. At this point you are reducing the stock so that it is easier to store.
Strain the stock:
Strain through several layers of cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer (ideally both) into a pot.
Pour into quart-sized jars:
Let cool for an hour or so before storing in the refrigerator. When your stock has cooled, it should firm up nicely into a gel.