Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicken Feet Broth

This post is not for the faint of heart because... well, chicken feet are just not... pretty. But they are useful. And when you're done butchering chickens, you'll have plenty left over!

To prepare the feet for use, heat a pot a water to a low boil or simmer and blanche the feet for just a few seconds. Too little and the skin won't peel off; too much and it won't peel because it's stuck on there. Seemed like about 3-5 seconds worked for me. I watched and the skin turned a light yellow when it was just right and I could see a bit of skin coming off - sometimes. Experiment by doing just two in the beginning before dropping all of them in at once.

Immediately plunge the feet into an ice water bath. Let them sit there for a while to really cool off (5 minutes or so). If you rush this step, they won't peel as well.

Now's the time to call the kids in so they can help. Especially boys that like gross stuff and animal anatomy. Peeling really should be easy and come of in small sheets. Take care to get the skin off in the pad of the foot. I found that I didn't need to fret too much about the upper part of the leg because that will come off better later. Do try, but concentrate on the actual foot portion.

Here is what a foot looks like before prepping, after it's skinned, and after the talons have been removed. I used a good pair of kitchen shears to remove these.

For the last step, run the foot under cool water and use a vegetable brush to clean up the remaining skin and any debris. Here's where you can get off anything the kids missed as well. No more yellow should remain on the feet.

At this point, I placed about 10 feet (1 pound) in a freezer zip lock back for making broth. You can make an entire broth with about a pound of feet, or take a couple and use them with a chicken if you prefer to make your broth with the whole bird.

I also kept all the necks and froze them separately on a cookie sheet so they wouldn't stick together, then threw them in a freezer bag of their own. These can be used to in broth as well as gravies.

So now you're all experts in chicken feet! Congratulations.


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