Recipe: Chicken Feet Broth

April 13, 2014 · 18 comments

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Chicken feet broth is made by simply adding chicken feet to filtered water with onion, celery and carrots. This makes a nutrient dense, collagen and gelatin rich broth that can be eaten as is, or used as the basis for wonderful soups and gravies. My mother always added chicken feet to her soups, but this important ingredient has been lost to most people.

I wanted to try out a new crock pot that I bought for my son to use in his apartment and I just happened to be making my roasted chicken and broth in my own 6.5 quart crock pot. I had already set up my crock pot with vegetables and so instead of transferring the vegetables to his pot, I thought I would do two crock pots at the same time and fill his with 2 package of chicken feet!

I am fortunate enough to purchase the chicken feet from a farmer that provides what he calls a “soup pack”. It has four chicken feet (and two heads, yikes!) that have been cleaned and frozen. Each pack is extremely inexpensive and worth every penny for the beautiful gelatinous broth it makes.

The feet have a yellow membrane over them that comes off when you put them in boiling water for a few minutes. Most farmers have already done that, so the feet are very clean and pink looking. The heads are full of minerals and should also be used (really it’s OK — after a while you do not even blink).

For people with allergies and/or leaky gut, chicken feet broth is the ticket to healing. It is an essential part of any healing protocol as the collagen and gelatin in the broth not only helps the joints, but the mucous membrane lining of the intestine as well.

I wound up making almost 5 quarts of gorgeous, gelatinous broth! I love using two crock pots at the same time!

Chicken Feet Broth

Ingredients

  • 2 packages of “soup pack” which amounts to 8 feet and 4 heads
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (where to buy)
  • Add salt and pepper to taste if eating plain broth

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Clean the vegetables
  2. Defrost and clean the feet and the heads
  3. When I make the roasted chicken and broth I usually brine the chicken overnight and I put the feet and heads in with the brine — but that is not necessary if you are just using the feet and heads
  4. I usually leave the outer skin on the onion and the leaves on the celery
  5. Add all the feet and heads to the pot and fill with filtered water leaving room for the vegetables so that you will have at least one inch from the rim
  6. Add the apple cider vinegar and let sit in the cool water for one hour — this starts the leaching of the minerals from the bones
  7. Add the rest of the vegetables
  8. Set the crock pot to low, for 12 hours
  9. I usually do this in the afternoon and reset the crock before I got to bed so that it cooks for a total of about 15 hours
  10. In the morning shut off the crock pot, uncover and let cool for up to 4 hours
  11. Strain and place into mason jars and cool in the refrigerator — you will notice the beautiful gel you will get from this broth
  12. Pack into smaller freezer safe containers for small portions for stews, soups and gravies

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 hours
Yield: About 3 quarts

How to find a local farmer to provide you with pastured chickens and feet — contact your local Weston Price Foundation chapter leader here.

Jenny has a recipe for Chicken Feet Broth in her new cookbook! It’s actually being reviewed and mentioned quite a bit! Yeah! Traditional cooking is making a huge comeback! See my review of her wonderful cookbook here.

Shared at: Hearth & Soul Hop, Real Food Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday. Gluten Free Wednesday, Mommy Club, Gluten Free Friday

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pam M April 14, 2014 at 8:00 am

I would love to make this. I understand how to clean the feet, but how would one clean the heads? Also, what parts (if any) are left in the skull? This is brand new territory for me and I would love a little more info on the prep of it all. Thanks!

Reply

2 Jill April 14, 2014 at 10:16 am

Hi Pam,
Since my farmer already removes the outer skin, I simply run the feet and the heads under water to clean.

Reply

3 Jessica April 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

It is so good to be be reminded of the wealth and health of bone broths! Thank you, so inspiring. Once, I went for chicken feet in the Netherlands in the regular super-market and butcher.To no avail, such a shame, but.. in France: feet of all sorts everywhere. My first experience with a calf foot, however was scary I discarded the lot after stewing. NOW I use the lot withpleasure and awe.
I have a question, though. I read in last year`s Paleo Magazine (ever so friendly forwarded to me by another lovely blogger Eileen) that the rendered fat from the broth may be oxidized by the heat after so many hours on the stove and best be discarded. I wouldso much appreciate to hear your take on this. Warmly, Jessica Boekhorst

Reply

4 Jill April 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Hi Jessica,
Yes these body parts DO take some getting used to since they are still no longer commonly used. I have heard that about the fat as well. I’m not sure if it is true — however I do not use the fat from the beef broth as I simmer that for 24 hours or longer — but I do use the chicken fat from the chicken broth as that I simmer for 12-15 hours. Hope this helps!

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5 Bobbie April 15, 2014 at 7:57 am

Hi Jill,
My daughter bought a new crockpot and tried to make bone broth. Unfortunately the broth boiled (rapidly) even when the crockpot was set on low. Trying to find one for her that will gently simmer the broth! Did you use the crockpot you recommended?

Thanks!

Reply

6 Jill April 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Hi Bobbie,
Funny you should ask — I used a Hamilton Beach for the feet and it was really too hot even on low — really bubbling, when what you want is a gentle simmer with just a few bubbles slowly rising to the top. My 6.5 quart All-Clad does it correctly.

This is the one I usually use: http://amzn.to/1bBr8uA

I have also heard from others that their Hamilton Beach runs too hot even on low.

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7 Bobbie April 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Thanks Jill!

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8 Tessa@TessaDomesticDiva April 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

i never thought the day would come that you would see chicken feet in my kitchen, but I have been looking for feet to add to my broth…will look a bit harder, fresh chicken is coming into season for us now! Thanks Jill!

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9 Tessa@TessaDomesticDiva May 6, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Holy gelatin Batman! I found some chicken feet and I am SO impressed without much gelatin comes off these babies! My broth is almost jello when it is cool! Amazing!! I never ever thought I would find chicken feet in my kitchen or my grocery cart…but I didn’t even bat an eye….a true sign of my real food conversion!

Reply

10 Jill May 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Hi Tess,
I know what you mean! I can even look those heads right in the eye now!

Reply

11 Emily November 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

When cooking the organic heads and feet from an organic farmer, do you need to remove the eyes and nails? If not, are there health benefits to leaving them on/in?

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12 Brenda December 4, 2014 at 11:08 pm

I wanted to know that question too. I hope we get a response , I’m anxious to try this!

Reply

13 Jill December 5, 2014 at 10:42 am

Yes,
Leave them on. Why go through all that bother? They have elements that are beneficial. The nails are collagen that will be broken down as well.

Reply

14 Brenda December 11, 2014 at 12:20 am

Thanks Jill!

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