Opinion Column

A soup stock recipe like Grandma would make

Don Houston of Hearty Fare

By Don Houston

Don Houston

Don Houston

Making stock for soup and making bone broth are both in vogue.

The difference is in how long the broth is simmered. Bone broth is usually made from beef bones and they are simmered 36 hours or more until the bones are soft.

The idea is to dissolve all the nutrients from the bones including calcium and use it as medicinal beverage. Soup stock is made for flavour in soups and stews and only simmers 6 to 8 hours. It is also a very enjoyable beverage on a cold day. It seems to warm you to the core better than tea or coffee.

There are many recipes for stock using chicken feet alone and there are recipes for making chicken stock from the carcass with vegetables. I have combined the recipes into one. The chicken feet are very gelatinous and add the satin smoothness to the stock. We can hark back to the day when Grandma had a large stock pot sitting on the back corner of the woodstove simmering away all day. Now we have a couple of appliances that Grandma did not have that allows us to do almost the same thing.

First is the slow cooker; you can turn it on and forget it or put a timed shut off on it.

Next is a freezer; so when you have trimmings that Grandma would have added to the stock you simply put them in a suitable container in the freezer—large zip lock bag?. So, you just keep adding to the bag until stock day and you empty it in the slow cooker or stock pot with your bones etc.

Voila, Grandma’s chicken stock feet and all!



(for soup)


2 Lbs Chicken feet

1 Uncooked chicken carcass (with neck)

2 Med. Cooking onions, quartered

2 Celery stalks, cut into 2” pieces

2 Carrots cut into 2” pieces

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped

Trimmings as available

Salt & pepper, herbs & spices to taste.

White wine to deglaze pan


Put a large pot of salted water on to boil; blanch the chicken feet 3-4 minutes; then cool. Some say to remove the claw as it allows more of the gelatinous liquid out. The alternate technique is to make some small slits through the skin. Set the feet aside while you prepare the carcass. Break the carcass into pieces and place the pieces and the vegetables into a shallow roasting pan. Season with salt & pepper and add spices & herbs of your choice. Keep in mind this is a basic stock so you don’t need to go overboard with spices. Roast bones for 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated 375 F oven until the vegetables show a little char and the meat on the bones is browned. Deglaze the pan with a cup of wine; then add wine, bones, vegetables and chicken feet to slow cooker, stockpot or roasting pan depending on how you plan to simmer the stock. Cover bones etc. with spring water—approx. 4 litres.

Simmer stock 5-6 hours skimming any froth that comes to the top.

Next remove from heat and lift out large pieces of bone, feet & vegetables with a slotted spoon; then strain stock through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.

Finally return stock to a stove top pot and taste for strength and seasonings. If stock is weak in flavour, reduce until you have the desired taste you want. The stock will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days or you can freeze it for later use.

If you need any information on Free Run Chickens, Black Angus Beef, Mennonite Sausage/bacon/pork/poultry, local Ontario Lamb, Home-made and Naturally raised or grown products, recipes you would like to see, or food items you can’t locate, visit our Farm Market 3232 Burnham St. N. Camborne. Open Wed to Sunday(see ad in Thursday’s Northumberland Today classified section) or e-mail me at houstonbakery@airnet.ca Visit the web @www.houstonsnaturalmeats.ca.