I cook with free range chickens from a farm that delivers to us every week, and they come with the feet on, which I chop off before roasting and save for that week’s stock. I always have the intention of saving the feet up in a baggie in the freezer to make stock from just feet once I’ve got several pairs of them, but I never resist. Still, even using just one pair of feet will add a gelatinous texture to the stock that I love. —Holly
Give the chicken feet a quick pedicure, snipping the tips of the toes and claws off and removing any calluses. This allows the collagen to seep out of the feet into the stock, making it thick and gelatinous.
Place the chicken carcass in a large stock pot along with the feet and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook for 2-3 hours with the lid on.
Allow to cool, then remove the bones. Scrape the last little pieces of chicken from them, and discard bones.
This is where my recipe differs from most stock recipes, and purists may cringe at this point: Blend the stock with chicken pieces and onions/leeks to make it smooth. If you prefer a perfectly clear broth, then just strain well and use the tiny chicken pieces in a separate dish.
Pour into small containers and divide as needed: stock can be refrigerated for up to three days. Freeze for longer keeping. I divide the stock into small containers for freezing. You can also fill an ice cube tray with the stock for making small amounts of sauces.