chicken feet broth - whatta concept!! : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I made the broth out of the chicken feet - amazingly rich and not much fat. High gelatin content as well. I tend to put in more water than recipes ask for when making stock, so it wasn't as strong as most. Scrub those toes with a stiff brush before cooking. I had a response to the original posting, mentioning that the heads were used as well as the feet. How does one pluck all those little bitty feathers?

I am quite happy with the results. Two gallons of water to about 30 feet, with some onion skins and peppercorns. I simmered it for several hours. Hesitated eating the feet themselves (I know - God hates a coward!) - don't like giving the dogs chicken bones, so the remains got tossed. Naturally, when making soup or gravy out of the stock, we won't mention to the unsuspecting public (i.e., my relatives and city friends) just WHAT was put in it to make it taste so good! Some things are, truly, better left unsaid...

Thanks for all the responses - an unmitigated success!!!


-- Judi from CT (, June 15, 2000


Congratulations on becoming a true farmwife! I have seen three different ways of defeathering chicken heads. Singe and rinse, blanch and slip, or skin them out. I think singeing then roasting before putting them in the stock pot give a nice rich flavor.

When I was a little kid, I remember the old Italian and Potuguese grandmas making the best chicken soup in the world. Then one day, I peeked in the kettle to see heads and feet! I got over my shock because it WAS the best chicken soup in the world and these parts did not make it to the table. It was a year later when I learned about head cheese and blood sausage.

-- Laura (, June 15, 2000.

My family is of German/Croatian descent. Everytime my Aunt Theresa visited, us kids knew one meal would be chicken head and feet soup with homemade noodles. She never took off the small feathers and I don't remember them becoming detached in the soup. All of the head which was eaten was the tongue and brain (but not by us kids). The skin on the feet was eaten as well. Still, it was delicious soup. My father also use to eat hog brains and eggs. To each his own.

-- Ken Scharabok (, June 16, 2000.

While on a caribou hunting trip, my grandfather fried up some caribou brains. He offered some to my brothers and I -- we of course turned them down, but now I wish I had at least tried them!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, June 16, 2000.

I'd still be inclined to skin things - parboil then take off and discard outer skin. I'll have to try that on heads - just never thought of it before. I appreciate it shouldn't matter, but I don't like the smell of scalded feathers, and I'd prefer to avoid having them contributing directly to my food.

One of my favourite foods used to be lamb's brains, but never not no more. Have you ever seen the comparative cholesterol figures for organ meats? Easily four or five times ordinary meat, and up. THEN compare the figures for brains - four or times as much again - that's easily sixteen or twenty five times as much all up. Then there's BSE - mad cow disease - Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease. Not supposed to be a worry in Australia - we don't have it, or scrapie in sheep, or much at all in the way of prion-derived diseases. Not like the USA - you've got scrapie in sheep and goats; and you got a fairly big import of BSE-infected meat and bone meal from the UK to use as cattle-feed almost ten-years ago, so you must have a substantial undetected or at least unreported BSE situation by now, bubbling along under the surface infecting more and more people (what does go into your sausages and hamburgers and hot-dogs and salami anyway?). Those of you who KNOW what you're eating can sleep well tonight.

Best wishes.

-- Don Armstrong (, June 17, 2000.

Let me tell you here in the Italian countryside the locals go nuts for chicken head and feet. By now I am used to it - don't eat much myself have to admit!!! We sell lambs. When the people don't want the head I stick it in the freezer for a guy that comes by once and awhile and picks 'em up. Anyways some of the best cooking around here is made with parts I don't even wanna think about ... I am so weak !!!

-- kelly (, June 20, 2000.

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