Monday, November 24, 2008

Pardon Me Waiter, There Is A Foot In My Soup

After seeing this picture, I want to see a show of hands ...How many people want to come for dinner???? I know it looks gross, but believe me you do.

Actually I used these chicken feet to make chicken stock. I had read about using them last year but I never thought I would actually be able to find them. But, I went to "Compare and Save" (which is a Hispanic grocery store in the Bonnie Doone area), there they were!

I went in there to check out their produce and see if I could find anything new and interesting. There were lots of things I want to try there but once I saw the chicken feet I was distracted. I had several chicken carcasses in my freezer that I had been meaning to make into stock so this was a good reason to get on that.

Adding chicken feet to your stock makes it richer and thicker. Chicken feet contain a lot of gelitan which gives your stock a velvety mouthfeel. Similar to when you add butter to pan sauce. It's hard to explain but you definately know that it is something good.

I just boiled the chicken feet for 5 mins then cut off the claws and tips of the toes and added them to the rest of my carcasses and proceeded with my ususal method of making stock that I posted last year but according to Elise at Simply Recipes you can make it with just the feet.

It is so nice to have home made stock in my freezer. Flavorful stock is the secret to making a soup that taste like it cooked all day but can actually be thrown together in just a few minutes. I even went as far as making a couple of containers of "soup base". I froze some shredded chicken in stock so that I can pull it out and make a quick Chicken and rice or Chicken Tortilla or my favorite, Avgolemono.

Avgolemono is a Greek lemon soup. I posted my own version of this last year but it is worth repeating. Don't let not having homemade stock keep you from making this. It is still great with store bought stock. This is so good for a cold day or a great comfort food for when you are feeling under the weather.


6 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup shredded Chicken(optional)
3 egg yolks
2-3 lemons
1/2 cup Orzo
1/3 cup finely diced carrots
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring Chicken stock to boil. Add in Orzo and carrots. Continue to boil 8-10 min until Orzo is Al dente.Add in Shredded chicken. Lower heat to simmer. Place the egg yolks into a small bowl. Zest 1 of the lemons into eggs then squeeze in the juice of the remaining. Beat lightly. Temper the eggs by slowly stiring in about 1/2 cup of the broth a little at a time. Slowly stir the egg/broth mixture back into the remaining broth. Simmer for 5 min. Do NOT let mixture come to a boil as it will cause the eggs to separate and though it still tastes good its not very pretty when it does this. If you have left overs (and I doubt you will) be sure to heat very slowly for the same reason.

NOTE: Orzo is a rice shaped pasta. You can replace this with rice (and I have in a pinch, but I really prefer the Orzo) but you will have to increase the cooking time to about 25 mins.

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