This fall when we processed our broilers, I decided to keep the feet. I'd heard that chicken feet make wonderful stock due to the gelatin in the bones. At first I was a little weirded out, but I bagged them up and put them in the freezer so I could give it a try.
Today I stayed home with Kylee (she has strep) so I decided it'd be a good day to make stock. I took the feet out of the freezer and let them thaw (I did that last night).
The first step in the process is to put the feet in a big stock pot and cover with water. Bring this to a boil and set the timer for 5 minutes. Skim off any scum that comes to the top of the water.
After 5 minutes, drain the feet and run cold water over them until they're cool enough to handle. Now it's time to cut off the claw end of the toe. It's easiest if you cut on the soft part just below the claw.
If there are any callouses, cut them off as well.
Put the chicken feet back in a pot and cover with an inch or two of water. Along with the chicken feet, add in onion, carrots, celery, and pepper. I had 5 lbs of feet, so I added two onions, 4 carrots, and 5 celery stalks.
I also added in some chicken necks and a chicken back that I'd saved (frozen) from previous meals.
Add this all to the pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer (covered) for 4 hours.
After 4 hours, remove the lid and turn up the heat to keep the pot simmering. Simmer for another 1-2 hours. This concentrates the stock.
After the simmering is done, remove the large pieces with a large slotted spoon.
Then strain with cheesecloth, muslin, or a strainer.
You're left with nice, clear stock.
I didn't measure it out in quarts, but I got a good amount for dinner tonight, plus five containers (one not pictured) for the freezer. I've seen pictures of the chicken feet stock gelling up when it's cooled, but mine hasn't done that. Either it's not cool enough or maybe I added too much water or didn't simmer it enough. Oh well, it still makes great soup!