Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Chicken gets a Pedi.

I don't have a problem cooking with almost any ingredient.  I must say that it was very hard working with these disgusting, creepy little clawed things.  As I read the recipe I came to the part where it said to cut it's fingertips and claws off, um really?!  Ok I thought, the preparation is going to need to be timed perfectly!  I'll prep the veg now and wait until M, my husband, is home from work and I'll start the stock.  I show him the feet and explain what needs to be removed (chopped off of them) - "No problem." he says. 

The truth is I couldn't even stomach putting them into the pot, I had a hard time LOOKING at them.  When it came time for him to perform the surgery on the feet I left the room.

After 3 hours of simmering you'd think the horror would have worn off.  No.  

I did manage to strain it once the stock was finished.  They still looked like partially amputated feet but I suppose the fact that they were mixed in with the vegetables made it visually easier to deal with.

The result?

The best chicken stock I have ever made.  Thick with a very rich flavour.  Chicken feet are available at Asian grocery stores.  The Lucky Moose is my fave.

Chicken Stock
recipe from Simply Recipes
Makes approximately 2 quarts.

  • 2 pounds of chicken feet
  • 2 large carrots roughly chopped
  • 1 onion cut into wedges
  • 2 celery ribs roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 peppercorns

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.  Put the chicken feet in a large stock pot making sure they are covered by the water.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Use a large metal spoon to skim and discard the scum that rises to the surface.

Drain the chicken feet and rinse with cold water so the feet are cool enough to handle.  Using a sharp knife, (get your husband to) chop off the tips and claws and discard.  If any rough patches of claw pad remain, cut them off and discard.

Clean the stock pot.  Place the feet back into the pot and fill with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a barely simmering and partially cover.  Simmer for 4 hours, occasionally skim any foam off the surface.

Uncover and increase the heat slightly.  Continue to simmer for 1 - 2 hours.  At this point you are reducing the stock even further which helps to thicken it up.  Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.  Let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator (2 - 3 days maximum).    I use plastic freezer jars  because they come in convenient 1 and 2 cup sizes and they stack in the freezer.

When your stock has cooled it should firm up nicely into a jelly like consistency.

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