A reader named Lauren recently asked me what my chicken feet stock recipe was. I was delighted to share it with her in my comments section and further inspired to post it here, illustrated, Hipsta style. Thanks for the inspiration, Lauren!
Bone broth, stock, whatever you want to call it, is SO GOOD FOR YOU, makes you feel nourished and your food taste fantastic. I’ve been using it in curries, stews, to cook rice for my non-Primal geezers and drinking it in the morning to gently wake up my digestive tract and smooth my skin. Calling it elixir would not be far-fetched.
This is the first recipe I’ve ever shared on my blog, and I’ve been blogging since 2006. So this is big for me. (Woo!) Recipes and cooking in general were never my thing until I started eating real food, and specifically, cooking with animals.
Before I dive in, I want you to know that the next time I make stock I will be tweaking it to maximize my gel content. This batch did not gel and from what I’ve learned, it’s most likely because I A) added too much water, B) cooked it too long and/or C) cooked it too hot.
I was talking to my farm connection over at Yolks, Kefir & Gristle about my ungelled stock and she said she’d heard that the collagen may break down if it cooks too long. If this is the case, does that mean I’m not getting the cellulite-curing benefits? This sounds like a good question for Dr. Cate or Paleo Hacks. Or YOU. Feel free to weigh in. I can’t find anything definitive.
Whether or not I find the answer, I’ve since put a jumbo slow cooker on my Hanumas list. Or is it Chrismakkuh? Whichever it is, I remember that whenever I cook chicken (or pork or beef) in my little crock pot, it always gels. Granted I use less water when slow-cooking. But I also use less energy. Win-win, right?
For my stock, I varied slightly from Sally’s recipe. I used an extra tablespoon of vinegar since I used more water and more chicken.
I used about 3 or 4 pounds (note to self: add food scale to Chrismakkuh list) of backs and necks, plus ten little alien-looking feet.
I put my parsley aside to save for last. It goes in ten minutes before you turn the heat off. My parsley is limp and old but I wanted to use it up.
I listened to Paleo Talk throughout. Very inspiring.
I threw everything into my giant stock pot and poured filtered water over it. Probably too much, like I said before.
You’re supposed to let everything sit in the cold water for 30 minutes to an hour before turning the heat on. I was in a hurry and skipped this step. Another possible reason my stock didn’t gel.Bring your ingredients to a boil and then skim the scum.
Then turn the heat down low so it simmers, and walk away. For like, a day. Or anywhere between 4 and 24 hours. The longer it cooks, says Sally, the more flavorful the broth will be. I like flavor, so I gave this broth 23 hours. There’s my low heat. I checked the stock to make sure there was movement. Tiny bubbles are a good thing.
Check on your stock every once in a while to make sure the heat is not so high that the water evaporates. I add a little water if this happens. Maybe not the best idea? Always learning…
Ten minutes before you turn the heat off, add the parsley. When the time is up, the stock looks something like this. Golden. Glistening. Done.
Now you’re ready to strain it into some big bowls. I use tongs for the big stuff, then a big strainer.
You can see the fat.
Let it cool slightly. Then ladle it into storage jars. This batch yielded 6.5 quarts.
This is some of what’s left over. In the past I have dumped it all into my composter, which I now regard as a tragedy and a sin.
I’m thankful that this time I was curious to see what I could salvage.
I extracted a quart of meat from my backs and necks.
The shoulder blades have choice meaty nuggets that look like big garlic cloves. I used this meat, like Sally suggests, in a curry. I made mine with garam masala that a neighbor friend gave me from Bangladesh, and coconut milk. And chicken stock of course. It was so good I didn’t stop to take its picture. Next time, curry. Next time.
The skin crisped up coppery-brown and tasted so good I thought I’d stumbled into heaven. It also gave me an incredible amount of energy throughout the day—like caffeine but without the jitters. I’m already salivating for another batch. I want to serve it with guacamole for an even more decadent treat. I think about this often.
That’s it, thanks for joining me! And don’t forget to salt your broth when you’re ready to enjoy a steaming mug.