Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chicken Stock

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!


Deb said...

It makes sense........but how long did it take you to get over being grossed out? I am proud of you. I won't show Mark - poor city boy will keel right over! Love you, Momma

Becky said...

LOL, I have to admit, I was a little weirded out by the feet too when I saw the pictures. It's easier to handle seeing meat when it doesn't look like the actual animal it came from, isn't it?
That's great though, Kate. I bet it made really great stock! I need to make some soon. I'm running low. Too bad I don't have any feet handy ;)

katiegirl said...

I'll admit, it was a little weird cutting off the claws. And fishing the feet out after the stock was ready....but it made good soup last night!

Dad said...

No you di...ent! And you even added the in crab bait chicken. lol

Jennifer said...

I've been wondering how to do this... one day I'll give it a try. But chicken feed look so gross, lol.

Terri and Randy Carlson said...

I think it's just wonderful that you are using some of the "unusual" parts of your livestock and putting them to good use. I have been doing this with our sheep. Things like steak and kidney pie, lamb livers, etc. So far, we have been very pleased. My kids actually like those strange things, and they are teenagers!

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