Chicken Feet-For Real!
We had a marathon chicken stock weekend. We got the feet from our 200+ chickens. They were skinned and ready to make into stock. Why would we use the feet? Well, because they are full of minerals and goodness. And we try to find a uses for just about everything. Here's how we did it.
First we cut up a bunch of veggies. Onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. We also threw in some dried thyme. The Barefoot Contessa doesn't peel her veggies for stock, so neither do we;)
Next we got all our feet in several different stock pots. When our chickens were scalded at processing, the skin came off so we did not have to skin them. Bonus. Since we were doing so many feet, we needed a lot of pots. We ended up using one regular pot and 2 ginormous restaurant sized stock pots, we're talking 25 gallon pots. HUGE. We didn't fill them all the way up so they could have room to not boil over.
We added the veggies to the feet and covered them with water. We brought it to a boil and then reduced to a simmer overnight. All in all they simmered for about 10 hours.
Next was time to strain the stock. We did this using a colander with cheesecloth. It was a long process because of the amount. After its all strained our pigs get the scraps and the crazy amount of bowls and pots holding the liquid gets put in the refrigerator.
It looks like this when it goes in the refrigerator. We generally leave it there for about 24 hours.
When we take the stock out, there is a layer of fat on top. Scrape that off and then you should have chicken stock jell-0. The thicker and jigglier the better. Seriously.
After that step you there are a couple options. One is to freeze the stock as is. But we wanted to can ours. Sooo we return it to the pot and heat it up to boil again. In the 24 hours that our stock is cooling we get all our canning equipment organized. Sterilize jars, get new lids, inspect the pressure canner, etc. We have an old stove in our basement that we use for pressure canning. We use the Ball canning book.
After its all said and done...it looks like this! Liquid gold.