My first cooking class at CulinAerie back in September, addressed the simplest most basic tool any chef should use to enhance so many different types of dishes, homemade stock. The chef for our class gave us two pointers that restaurants use daily to enhance their dishes, fresh herbs and homemade stock. With these two basic ingredients, upscale restaurant quality food is within reach.
During the 90 minute lecture, we learned the difference between stock and broth. With stock, the bones used are raw and the stock is unseasoned.
Alternatively, with broth, the bones are cooked and the broth is seasoned, for example the leftover bones from the Thanksgiving turkey.
As she began giving us pointers to enhance our stocks, she mentioned that chicken feet produce the best most luxurious stock because they are sorich in glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium and collagen. After I heard that, I knew I wanted to take on the challenge and attempt to produce a stock from chicken feet.
Well that’s just what I did, but I’ll warn you, it was not a simple task, working with the feet is pretty gross and disgusting.
Although, the house smelled fantastic and the stock looks divine!
- 1 large stock pot
- 2 to 3 pounds of chicken feet
- Mirepoix (50% onion, 25% carrot, 25% celery)
- 2 onions quartered, 2-3 carrots cut in half, 2-3 stalks celery cut in half
- Bouquet Garni (thyme, parsley stems, bay leaf & peppercorn)
- 2 stalks of thyme, 15 parsley stems, 1 bay leaf, a few peppercorns
- Bring a large saucepan filled with water to boil, add the chicken feet, cover and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the foam or scum from the top with a spoon, then drain the chicken feet in a colander.
- Run cold water over the chicken feet to bring their temperature down so that you can handle them by hand. Individually, trim off each of the claws, it's easiest at the first knuckle. Once you get through the first one, the rest get easier. This job is pretty disgusting, it's best to do this alone as the spectators seem to get grossed out easier than the one preparing the stock ;)
- In a large stock pot, place trimmed chicken feet, mirepoix, and bouquet garni, then fill with cold water until everything in the pot is covered, adding maybe an inch more of water. Remember if you add too much water, you just have to simmer the stock longer, if you do not add enough, you just keep adding more as it simmers. I used a soup sock for the vegetables and a spice bag for the herbs, making removing those ingredients easier.
- After 1½ to 2 hours, the stock should be ready to strain. If you left the mirepoix and bouquet garni free, strain through a colander and cheesecloth.
- The finished product should be chilled quickly after it's strained.
- The next morning remove from refrigerator and skim off the fat layer. It should not yield too much fat as the feet are not that fatty.
- Store the chicken stock in the fridge to be used up within 7 days or freeze for 6 months. Enjoy!