Homemade Chicken Feet Stock
You'll never realize how bland store-bought stock actually is until you make your own. Turns the simplest soup recipes into gourmet meals. Note: this recipe uses chicken feet in place of bones. The result is a stock that is more rich in flavor than any bone stock I've ever had. But all that collagen from the feet makes the stock a gelatin when cooled below room temp. So don't panic when you open your fridge and find chicken jelly.
- Serves: 12 persons
- 4lbs chicken feet
- 2tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
- 2cups chopped white onion
- 1cup chopped carrots
- ½cup chopped celery
- 2cloves garlic, minced
- 2quarts water, or as needed
- 2medium leeks
- ⅓cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 4sprigs fresh thyme
- 2sprigs fresh marjoram
- 2large bay leaves
- 1sprig fresh rosemary
- salt to taste
Step 1Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add chicken feet and boil for 10 minutes. This will soften them enough that you can chop off the claws from each paw. This opening is where the collagen melts out of which gives the stock its richness. Strain feet through a sieve, chop off claws, and set aside.
Step 2Pour a layer of olive oil in the same pot and heat over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute an additional 30 seconds. Add feet back to the pot and fill with water until about 2 inches of water stand above the highest feet in the pot.
Step 3Discard dark green portions of the leeks or set aside for another use. Slice up the light green portions; each stalk should yield 7 to 8 slices. Add to the pot.
Step 4Combine parsley, peppercorns, thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, and rosemary on top of a piece of cheesecloth. Tie cheesecloth up with twine into a spice bag, leaving a long string. Tie the end of the string to a pot handle (for easy retrieval later) and drop spice bag into the pot.
Step 5Increase heat to high and bring stock to a rolling boil. Reduce temperature to low and simmer, without stirring, for about 8 hours, adding more water if level becomes too low.
Step 6After 8 hours (or the next morning), drain the stock through a colander into another pot to remove large solids. Clean the first pot. Lay a piece of cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer. Pour the stock through this setup and into the clean pot to remove any fine particles. Cool to room temperature.
Step 7Cover and move to refrigerator to cool completely, 3 to 4 hours. Remove the layer of fat that will congeal on top of the stock with a slotted spoon. Taste and adjust salt level. Use within a few days or freeze.