If you are a fan of my Facebook page – and I hope that you are – you saw this post:

I can report that chicken feet make excellent bone broth. However, looking in the cooker and finding a bunch of claws staring back at you does take some getting used to.

Now, you should know I never make my bone broth the same way twice.  It’s usually some combo like this:

  • marrow bones (I’ve used lamb, grass-fed beef, turkey carcasses and chicken carcasses before.)
  • carrots
  • celery
  • onions / shallots / leeks or some combination thereof
  • garlic

I throw all of that in a roasting pan, and let it go at 375 degrees for nearly an hour.  I like for everything to get nice and golden-brown.  Then I put it all in my slow cooker, cover with water, add a bay leaf or two along with a splash of apple cider vinegar, and let it burble away on low.  If it seems a little anemic, I will uncover it for awhile.  I cook it anywhere from 12 hours minimum to thirty-six maximum.

This weekend, I was in the South Carolina Low Country where we decided to go crabbing.  Having been instructed to use chicken necks as bait, I headed to the market where I was able to find turkey necks and chicken feet, but no chicken necks.  Being the novice crabber that I am, I bought both and hoped one would work.

With a 5 year old, a 4 year old, a 4 month old and my dad in a wheelchair all in tow, our crabbing expedition lasted about fourteen minutes.  The tide was too high, the air was getting chilly, and the dock was definitely not child-safe.  So we trekked back home where we had an entire pound of chicken feet left unused.

So I threw four turkey necks, a pound of chicken “paws” and the aromatics in the oven then the slow cooker.  I figured that the resulting broth would be very nourishing, given all of the great collagen in chicken claws.

I didn’t count on being a little freaked out at the sight of all those fingernails poking out at me from the slow cooker.  I couldn’t even bring myself to snap a picture.

The result?  Amazingly rich, deliciously gelatinous poultry bone broth.  I gobbled it up.  (Apologies for the turkey joke.)

Although I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture of the claws, I did take a little movie so you could see how gelatinous it was.  Ignore the screaming children in the background:

Chicken Foot Broth

I will definitely use chicken feet again and next time I promise I will be brave enough to take a picture.

What parts of an animal have you used in your cooking that you never imagined you would?

(For instructions on preparing stock from chicken feet you get straight from a farmer or otherwise unprocessed, check out this post from Nourished Kitchen.)


One Response to “Chicken Paws, Turkey Necks and No Crabs at All”

  1. on 15 Oct 2012 at 9:10 amhot Nai Nai

    Tried to do the shrimp shells but after a couple of hours it smelled so bad I had to toss it. However I will enjoy some turkey broth this AM.

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