Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Don't be a chicken!

With cool weather in Mexico, I'm craving soup. Homemade chicken and vegetable is one of my favorites. I went to the store and bought a nice plump bird from the meat department, brought it home to prepare for the three day process that ends up in soup. It begins with roasting the chicken with carrots, onions and potatoes.



First to wash it and clean out the inside. Wait, what's this among the gizzard, neck and liver?


You guessed it....chicken feet! Fascinating, aren't they? Too bad I didn't have any boys at home. They'd have had fun with these.


The girls could have enjoyed them too.


Since there was no one to run off and play with my chicken feet, I tossed them into the stock pot. I'm happy to report it was the best chicken soup I've ever made.

Apparently people will in fact buy the feet just to make rich and nutritious stock. When you buy a whole chicken in the States, the feet aren't included. I guess they're just thrown away, or maybe sold to the Campbell's soup company?

Have you ever used chicken feet in making soup? Or pig's feet? I heard they too were excellent for making stock, and I've seen pig's feet for sale everywhere in the stores. There's my next experiment!

19 comments:

  1. My grandmother used to toss in chicken feet, but then this was in Mexico. I'll put in chicken feet if they belong to the chickens I butchered. It brings a whole other level of flavor.

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    1. Maria, Yes they do!! I'm glad you use them with your own chickens.

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  2. Fascinating about the chicken feet and making the meal taste even better. Hope you remembered to take the giblets out . . lol

    We call pig's feet pig's trotter's and I can't say I've had them, from memory, and I have been denied chicken's feet all my life . . . . :)

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    1. Eddie, I'm going to find out how to cook pig's feet, or trotters as you call them. I'll let you know!

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  3. No feet in my soup. I'm making soup right now too, minestrone.

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  4. No feet in mine, although I have seen plenty of pigs' feet for sale in the store. I'll take your word for it that it makes the soup taste better.

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  5. People used to fry the feet with the other pieces of chicken here. There is a saying that the more chicken feet you eat growing up, the prettier you will be. My grandfather always said his favorite pieces were the back, gizzard and feet. As an adult, I recognize he fed the best to his family. So chicken feet are good for the soul too.

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  6. I don't eat meat, but remember my mother cooking every last bit of the chicken, so it lasted us for days!

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  7. I have a funny and fabulous cookbook called While Trash Cookbook by Ernest Mathew Mickler, sadly deceased as he was a real pip of a human. In that book is a recipe by Ida Pullen (l cannot believe that I remember her name) for cooking up chicken feet. She says to scrub them good "cuz you don't know where those chickens have been!" Ha ha! Even though we had hens and roosters, we didn't eat their feet. Now I wish we had.

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    1. Jan, I think it's sad all those chicken feet that could be enriching homemade soup and people can't find them, at least not in the U.S. (Ida Pullen, eh? Sure it wasn't Ima Pullett?)

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  8. I don't want anyone to touch my feet (because my sister tortured me in childhood by tickling them) and out of respect to the chicken who gave his/her life so I can have a good meal, I will not touch or cook the feet.

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  9. Hi Karen. Sounds like you're settling right in to Mexico. Chicken feet are eaten in Asia. Yummy apparently. No, I'm not into chicken feet! Glad you made the best chicken soup ever!

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  10. Hi Karen - love the fact you 'needed' chicken soup for the soul .. that comes to me sometimes. I can't say I've ever had chicken feet ... and now we don't get the gizzard et al with our chickens - 'ealth + safety'?! Probably you can get them separately ... and with some family butchers I'm sure you can get all - but not I suspect feet.

    Pig's feet - are delicious .. I've had those ... good luck with that testing recipe .. the Germans love pig's trotters ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Re the Queen .. I'm putting up a note .. but it may not be tomorrow - as I need to go out very soon ... cheers H

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    2. Hilary, With you and Eddie Bluelights both mentioning pig trotters I'm very intrigued. There's got to be a British version of preparation that must be interesting and delicious.

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  11. The feet are what a certain Jewish dish is made of: jellied chicken aspic, which is like a chicken soup, the cold version.
    I must say I haven't seen those feet in ages, nor the old fashioned dish. I may need a Mexican market if I wanted to make it.

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    1. Mirka, Apparently there's something in the feet that make the stock gel, which I guess is what you want soup to do. I've heard about chicken aspic before but never thought of it as cold chicken soup! Now I'm curious, must go look up a few recipes....

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  12. Yes, Chicken feet add a lot to soup, but they are EXCELLENT on their own. You just gotta make sure you peel them before cooking. If you let them cook for a quite a long time at a lowish temp in a nice sauce. You can suck the meat right off the bones. YUM!

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