That’s what we’ve been lovingly calling our chicken foot bone broth, even though it’s not a stew or a soup at all. And actually it’s more of a stock than a broth, but people use the terms interchangeably. A stock is something more like chicken juice (or soup) whereas a broth is thicker, concentrated and gels firmly up when cooled in the refrigerator. You can make soup with broth, of course, you just don’t need to use as much since it’s concentrated.
What we used:
Celery (including leaves)
one onion (peeled and cut in half)
one shallot (because we had it and it needed to be used)
3 pounds chicken feet
You can use any variety of vegetables, I used these because it’s what I had on hand.
I’m not one for measuring unless it’s absolutely necessary, so use your own judgment as to how much celery you use for the amount of feet/bones you are using.
Just throw it all in a large stock pot, cover with water and lightly simmer for about a day. Seriously, it’s that easy. If you start this in the morning, by that evening/night yours should look like this (notice the droplets of oil floating on the surface? Those are good for you.):
You will need to add water occasionally as the liquid will evaporate some. But this is a good thing, you are creating a nice concentration of stock. Before you are going to call it “finished” you actually want it to cook down and not add anymore water. At this point it’s time to strain the solids out and discard them. Or you can dry the bones (it would be difficult to do from chicken feet, but the process for making bone broth from the rest of the bird is the same so use those bones) to make bone meal. This could be a nice supplement for your pets or plants.
I use my mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth, just as I used when making ghee and lard. Come to think of it, I need to find a good alternative to cheese cloth since we use so much of it. It’s too disposable for my liking. Something that is washable.
You should end up with a light golden, creamy looking broth that gels when refrigerated.
This next picture shows you how much stock I ended up with from this batch. These are quart-size canning jars.
Cooking tip: You don’t want to cook it so long that it darkens in color, as you can see in the next picture with the jar on the far right side.
The jars with the lighter colored stock are ideal. The one on the right was made from the bones of a roasted chicken we had a few nights ago. But then we also had it simmering off and on for a few days. It will have a stronger, almost beef-like, flavor. Not exactly what you want your chicken soup to taste like. Maybe you do, I don’t mean to judge.
You’ll know it gelled up just right when you can tip the jar upside down and the stock doesn’t move.
“As the bones cook in water – especially if that water has been made slightly acidic by the inclusion of cider vinegar – minerals and other nutrients leach from the bones into the water. Homemade broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals. The minerals in broth are easily absorbed by the body. Bone broth even contains glucosamine and chondroiton – which are thought to help mitigate the deletorious effects of arthritis and joint pain. Rather than shelling out big bucks for glucosamine-chondroitin and mineral supplements, just make bone broth and other nutritive foods a part of your regular diet.
Further, homemade bone broths are often rich in gelatin. Gelatin is an inexpensive source of supplementary protein. Gelatin also shows promise in the fight against degenerative joint disease. It helps to support the connective tissue in your body and also helps the fingernails and hair to grow well and strong.”
You can make soups using your broth/stock, drink straight (slightly warmed), when making rice replace the water with stock, make gravy, add a small amount to the pan as you’re cooking up ground beef, etc… the possibilities are endless.