Yes, this recipe uses chicken feet. Yes, it is absolutely worth it. Get over yourself and don’t be squeamish about it.
Anyone who has eaten Dim Sum knows that chicken feet are goddamn delicious. What you may not know is that they also make, hands down, the best chicken stock ever. All that collagen around the toes creates a gelatin-heavy soup that has a succulent mouth feel and an intensely chicken-y flavor.
Also? Chicken feet are hella cheap - Maybe two dollars for a pound, enough to create stock for a week of soups and stews. You can find them at asian or other ethnic markets.
- one pound of chicken feet
- an onion, washed, with the skin on
- two bay leaves
- 10 peppercorns
- salt to taste (but not too much as this will be a base for other things)
Wash the chicken feet and place in a pot. You can shop off the toenails, but I don’t bother.
Cover with water and bring to a boil, skimming off the foam. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the stove, and take out the feet. Dump the water and fill the pot again with cold water. Put the feet back in, along with the onion, bay and peppercorns.
Put the heat on medium, bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. The stock should barely simmer.
Now, leave it alone. Check it every so often to skim off any foam, but if the heat is right there shouldn’t be any.
Let it simmer for about 8-10 hours.
When it’s done, it will be a deep golden color with fat dotting the top. Turn off the stove and let it cool for about an hour.
Strain the feet and spices out of the stock and put the stock in the fridge overnight.
I simply keep the stock in the fridge and use it for soup over a few days, then freeze the rest in an ice cube tray and plastic baggies for other stuff (pan sauces, etc).