Though chicken feet are not a typical part of “American cuisine,” they are a delicious addition to soups. If you want to make yourself one of the richest and most flavorful broths ever, do not miss out on this chicken feet soup recipe. And no worries if you don’t like the idea of feet in your soup. With a minor alteration, this entree can work for you too!
We are going on a culinary adventure today! Though chicken feet are a common food in some parts of the world, many in the U.S. are unfamiliar with this ingredient. This was the first time my family tried a dish with chicken feet, and it was delicious!
I understand that this chicken feet soup recipe is not going to be something that everyone will want to try. I had a wide variety of reactions when I posted the following photo on Twitter. Some told me how much they loved chicken feet, while others were far less enthusiastic.
A few folks told me the feet looked a bit too much like human fingers! I am glad I kept them in the clearly labeled package for the photo.
I knew going into this culinary foray that one of my family members was going to have a hard time with this one. Meanwhile, my other family member would totally be game to try these. (My predictions were spot on, btw.)
If you just can’t bear to face the feet, I have an option for you!
To prepare this dish, I had to clip the tips of the toes off of the chicken feet to remove the nails. Even after cutting each foot in half, it still looked like a foot. I know that this will exceed some people’s comfort level when it comes to food.
The benefit of using chicken feet in your bone broth, as mentioned in the intro, is that it makes some of the richest, most flavorful broth ever. If you’ve never had success making a bone broth that gels, try throwing some chicken feet into the batch. It’s worth seeking this collagen-rich ingredient out if you regularly make your own broth.
My family member who was resistant to the idea of chicken feet in his food did try a bite. However, if you know your family will definitely not go for this, make the broth and remove the feet. Then add the rest of the soup ingredients to that super delicious broth.
This gives you the best of both worlds. You get the wonderful broth from the feet, without actually having to see said feet in your food.
Additionally, chicken feet have a ton of little bones. They soften up considerably after the extended slow cooking, but they are not really meant to be eaten. Taking the chicken feet out makes the soup much easier to eat, no fussing with little bones.
The feet don’t have much in the way of meat on them, so it’s not really wasteful to discard them after the broth is made. Hmmm... leave them in or take them out? You know your family and their preferences best, so I’ll leave that up to you.
So, will chicken feet stay on our menu?
The answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes!” I can tell you that I’m adding a few chicken feet to each batch of my Instant Pot Bone Broth from now on.
Unfortunately, our local supermarkets do not typically carry chicken feet. I have to make a special trip to an international market each time I want this ingredient. You may be in a similar situation if you live in the United States.
Thankfully, chicken feet freeze well. So, buy a package (or two), put them in the freezer, and defrost them when you need them. Easy peasy.
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Chicken Feet Soup Recipe
- 1 lb. chicken feet (yellow outer layer peeled, if the store has not done this for you)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 9 cups water
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 0-2 jalapenos, chopped (none for classic chicken soup flavor, 1-2 if you like things spicy hot)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces cooked chicken breast meat, chopped (leftovers from this recipe would be perfect)
- ½ cup dry barley (hulled, not pearled)
The evening before you plan to have soup for dinner:
- With sharp kitchen shears, cut the tips of the toes off of each chicken foot, removing the nail. Cut each foot in half lengthwise. Put the feet into a slow cooker.
- Cover the chicken feet with the water. Add the cider vinegar and give it a stir.
- Cover the slow cooker and put it on "low." You're all set for the evening!
At noon the day you are having soup:
- Skim off any foam that has formed on top of the broth. Either scoop the chicken feet out of the broth and discard them or leave them in if you are feeling more adventurous. We chose to leave them in!
- Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the cooked chicken and barley. Cover the slow cooker. Keep it going on low.
One hour before dinner (around 5 pm):
- Add the chicken and barley to the slow cooker and give it a stir. Cover the pot again and cook on low for an additional hour. Enjoy!
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). I’ve mentioned this before, but (in general), broth-based soups are a great option to support weight loss. The high-volume, low-calorie combo of protein, fiber, and fluid may help to keep you full. I especially enjoy a comforting dish like this when it is cold out. What’s better than coming home to a warm bowl of soup after spending time in the cold?
Have you ever tried chicken feet? If so, I’d love to hear about how you like to prepare them. And if you decide to try this chicken feet soup recipe, let me know whether you left the feet in or not!