Chicken feet soup is a golden, clear broth, rich in gelatin, minerals, and flavor. It tastes so good, it’s hard to believe it’s made from food waste. Learn to make bone broth from chicken feet and you’ll be sourcing this ingredient from your local farmers. This traditional bone broth soup is practically free to make.
I was helping my friend butcher her chickens last summer and she asked me if I used the feet for soup. In this post I asked Tracy to share her method of using chicken feet in bone broth with you.
Benefits of using chicken feet for bone broth
- Chicken feet are a waste product of the butchering process. Using them in soup honors the life of the chicken and reduces food waste.
- Chicken feet add rich, anti-inflammatory, gelatin to the broth, increasing protein, and making it more potent medicine
- Chicken feet create a golden broth with rich flavor
- Chicken feet increase the antioxidants and flavonoids in bone broth
- Chicken feet are an inexpensive food source
How to prepare chicken feet at butchering time to use later:
- Cut the feet from the leg at the natural joint.
- Wash well in cold water.
- Remove the nails. They come off easily.
- Place the feet in freezer bags, with 6 to 8 feet per bag.
- Freeze immediately.
Chicken feet will stay good in your freezer for up to a year. But don’t leave them that long. Add them to the pot the next time you make stock from a chicken carcass and make a pot of chicken feet soup.
Chicken feet soup is a great base for chicken noodle soup. Its 100 times better than the salty consomme sold at the supermarket. When you’re feeling a little under the weather, Grandma’s chicken soup can make you feel better fast. When you include the chicken feet its even more healing.
Where to find chicken feet for soup
If you raise your own meat birds, simple remove the feet when you butcher them. If you take your birds to an abattoir, ask for the feet to be returned to you.
Chicken feet might also be found at your local farmer’s market. Ask the organic chicken farmer.
If you have an asian market in your community, they might also have chicken feet. Many ethnic communities have long traditions of making chicken feet soup.
How to use chicken feet in bone broth
Now that you’ve sourced your chicken feet here’s how to use them in bone broth.
Step 1: Blanche the chicken feet to remove the skin
If your chicken feet still have the skin on, you will need to remove the skin and nails. This is easy enough to do by blanching. If the feet are frozen you can put them in a pan on the stove and cover them in water. Turn the stove on medium heat and let it come to a simmer. Once the water is simmering, turn the heat off and allow the feet to sit for 10-15 minutes.
If the feet are thawed, you can drop them into a pot of simmering water for about 30 seconds or so.
Once you have pulled the feet out of the water, place them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. You don’t want to cook the feet, just make the skin easier to remove.
Now, start peeling the skin from the feet beginning at the top of the leg and pulling down toward the toes. Try to remove as much of the skin as you can in one pull. Once you have pulled the skin down to the end of the toes, remove the nails by bending and twisting them off at the joint, if this wasn’t done at the time of butchering.
Work in batches of no more than 4 or 5 feet at a time. If you try to do more than this, the feet will end up sitting for too long, making it more difficult to remove the skin.
Step 2: Making the chicken feet bone broth
Once the skin is removed from the chicken feet begin your bone broth. Use a slow cooker, an Instant pot, or a big pot on the stove. There are many methods for doing this, so just choose the one that works best for you. (Learn the 6 tips for making the best bone broth here.)
To make the broth, throw your chicken feet, roasted chicken carcass, veggies, and herbs into the pot. Cover with water. Add apple cider vinegar. Simmer on low-medium heat for several hours. If you are using a slow cooker you can leave it simmering overnight.
Step 3: Add vegetable peelings and scraps for increased flavor and nutrition
Many of the health giving antioxidants in vegetables are nearest the skin. That’s the part we toss in the compost when we are making veggies for dinner. These peelings and trimmings are ideal for adding to bone broth to increase its nutritional value. Make sure they are sound and contain no rot or mold.
I like to keep a gallon ziplock bag in the freezer to collect veggie scraps. Once my bag is full, I am ready to make broth. You can add celery, onion, carrots, sage, and rosemary to season the stock. I also add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar. This helps to draw minerals out of the bones.
Simmer the bone broth until the bones disintegrate when you squeeze them. Once this happens, you know all of the goodness has been extracted out of the bones.Print
Rich broth and nutritious soup from food waste
- 1 to 2 Chicken Carcasses
- 2 to 4 Chicken Feet with Skin and nails Removed
- 1 gallon Veggie Scraps
- ¼ cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother
- Water to cover
- Place chicken carcasses and chicken feet in the crockpot.
- Pour about ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar over top of the bones and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes.
- Add veggie scraps (like celery, carrot peels, onion skins, etc)
- Cover with water.
- Put the lid on and turn crockpot on low.
- Simmer for 8 to 10 hours, longer is even better.
- Strain the bone broth with a fine mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth to make a clear broth
You can use the broth right away or store it in the fridge to be used within a few days. Freeze for longer storage.
Keywords: bone broth, chicken feet soup, chicken noodle soup
When the chicken feet bone broth is done, strain out all of the bones and veggies and you will be left with a rich, clear, golden broth. Pour it through a fine sieve or through cheese cloth to get the bits of veggies and meat out. The flavor has gone into the stock so you aren’t wasting it by straining it. You can use the broth right away or store it in the fridge for up to a week.
If you want to store it longer than that, you can freeze it, in ziploc bags or plastic containers. Be sure to label and date it. The broth can then be used in your favorite chicken noodle soup or any recipe that calls for chicken broth.
Learn the secrets to making clear bone broth from scratch
Bone broth is anti-inflammatory. Rich in minerals, flavonoids and protein, it is a nutritious and flavorful base for gravies, sauces, soups, and stews. The secrets to making bone broth from beef, chicken, and fish here.
This post is a guest post by Tracy McGee
Tracy is the creator, mentor, and teacher at Treasured Creations Homestead. She is passionate about helping families use homesteading skills and natural living to improve their health, deepen their faith, strengthen the family and build community. When she isn’t working on the homestead, you can find her hanging out at the fire station, hiking in the Shawnee National Forest, sitting on the front porch, or taking a road trip with her hubby and kids. Tracy is a member of our DIY Herbal Fellowship, a membership that teaches you how to grow and use herbs for food and medicine.