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Chicken Broth Uses The Whole Bird, Even The Feet

When making chicken stock, definitely use chicken feet if you can find them. It may seem gross and wierd, but they are full of gelatin. I ask my family farmers to save these for me - I think they're great! In fact, Jewish folklore considers the addition of chicken feet the secret to successful broth.

Farm raised, free-range chickens will give the best results for your broth. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.


  • 1 whole free-range chicken or 2-3 pounds of bony chicken parts (necks, backs, breastbones and wings)
  • gizzards from one chicken (optional)
  • feet from the chicken (optional)
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley


  1. If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. By all means, use chicken feet if you can find them - they are full of gelatin.
  2. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.
  3. Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be.
  5. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
  6. Remove whole chicken or pices with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses.
  7. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.

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