How to Peel and Cook Chicken Feet for the Most Nourishing Broth you can Make

Have you ever asked yourself, “how do you cook chicken feet?” or “How do you peel chicken feet?”  Yeah, I didn’t either until I discovered how many health benefits these chicken parts have.

how to cook chicken feet

If ever there was a post I’ve written that I will get emails over, this will be the one, I’m sure of it.

Thankfully, I’m almost two years into this blogging journey so I feel ready for it.

That being said, I’d still love it if you didn’t send me angry emails over today’s post. 🙂

Because honestly, if there ever was a food you should add to your diet, chicken feet it is.  I know, it sounds weird and if you aren’t used to it you can get easily grossed out by it.  I mean, it’s not every day people are looking up recipes with chicken feet.  At least, not here in North America. But really, we just get weirded out by what we don’t know.

In other parts of the world it’s perfectly normal to eat chicken feet.  and crickets.

I’ll pass on the crickets though, thank you very much.  I mean, I’m not saying I WOULDN’T try them if I was worn down enough and everyone around me was doing it, but I just can’t cross that bridge yet.

Everyone has a line.  For me, it’s bugs.  I will eat most anything.  Except bugs.

But we aren’t talking about bugs today.  Nope.  We’re talking about chicken feet.

So,  why should you eat chicken feet?  I’m glad you asked!

You see, chicken feet are a nutrition powerhouse.  They are full of calcium, protein, collagen, and minerals.

I am a HUGE fan of collagen.  It is known for younger looking skin.  You’ll often see collagen listed on the ingredient list to skincare products.

But not only is it great for your skin, but also for the strength of your hair, skin, and teeth.  It can also help your digestive system.  And if that’s not enough, collagen may help if you have joint pain.

But-first a little truth bomb after all this talk about how amazing these chicken feet are.  I haven’t actually cooked up a chicken foot and started eating it that way.  I’m totally not against trying them that way, but since there isn’t a whole lot of meat on those bones I prefer a different way to use them and get all those health benefits from the feet.

I like to throw them into some bone broth instead.  A chicken feet bone broth, if you will.  Bone broth is so nutritious and amazing for gut health.  As I am on my own personal journey of gut healing (after years of mistreating my poor gut 🙁 )my fridge is constantly stocked with homemade bone broth lately.

I like to toss just 3-4 prepared chicken feet into my bone broth with the other bones I have to make it. I shared in an earlier post about how I make bone broth either in the slow cooker or on the stove top.  You can read that here.  Bone broth is so simple to make and the health benefits are numerous.  It’s totally worth it to make your own.

So, today I want to share with you how to de-skin chicken feet.  Once they are de-skinned you are ready to cook the chicken feet.    Eating skin on a chicken foot is where I draw the line.  Everybody has one, and the skin on the bottom of a chicken foot is mine.  I’ve seen where they walk.  Those feet are getting de-skinned before I consume them.

Of course, if you don’t raise your own meat birds like we do you may wonder where to buy chicken feet.  Try your local butcher shop.  We take our meat birds to a butcher and we always ask for the feet back.  However, I do know some butcher places sell them.


First of all, when I get my chicken feet I like to flash freeze them.  I just lay them on a pan and freeze them, and then once frozen I store them in a freezer bag.  I freeze them this way so they don’t all stick together.  Chiseling frozen chicken feet apart so you can use them for broth is so not fun.  Ask me how I know.

I do it this way so I can just grab a few at a time to de-skin for broth.  You could de-skin them all at once but honestly, it’s a bit time consuming and I can’t imagine doing 30 feet at one time.  It’s easier for me to just take 15 minutes before I make some broth and do it.

So, when I’m ready to make broth I just grab 3-4 chicken feet from the freezer.

I bring a pot of water to a boil.  I fill it enough so that the feet will be covered when immersed.

Once it’s boiling I put the feet in the water.  Then I boil for 5 minutes.  I know it looks like I put them in one at a time from the pot above, but for some reason I just took the picture after only putting one in.  Not really sure why. 🙂  Just put all the feet in the water at once.

After 5 minutes I take the foot and put it under cold running water (I put the other feet in the sink while I am working on the first one.)

As I run it under cold water I start de-skining it, usually starting at the opposite end from the toes.  You could fill a bucket or bowl with cold water, but it really doesn’t take that long so I find this way the easiest.

Once I get to the pad of the foot it does get a little tricky.  I just work my way around it.

I also take off the tips of the toes by twisting at the last joint. You can do this before or after you de-skin the foot, it doesn’t really matter. Some people cut these off with scissors but I find it quite easy to twist them off.  I take these off because I don’t want any nails in my broth.  The reason being because of where they walk. 🙂  But I do know there are others that are more than fine with having the nails attached.  Whatever your preference.

how to peel chicken feet

Once it’s done I just toss it into the pot I am using to make broth and then I move on to the next one.

They definitely won’t look so pretty when you are done with them.

But that’s okay, we aren’t going for pretty. We just want all those nutrients!

And that’s really all there is to it.  Now your feet are ready for broth.  Remember to check out my post about how to make broth if you are new to broth making.


But maybe you are one of those adventurous ones who likes to try new foods.  And maybe you want to eat chicken feet in other ways, not just in broth.  If that’s you I’ve tracked down some recipes around the web.  Now, full disclosure, I have not tried any of these recipes.  However, if ever I was going to eat a chicken foot this way, I have to be honest- the recipes look delicious.

Dim-Sum-Style Braised Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce

Hot and Spicy Chicken Feet recipe

Steamed Chicken Feet

You can even make treats for your dog with chicken feet, though we’ve ruled this one out in our house because I was too worried our pup would develop a taste for chicken feet putting our live chickens at risk.  I don’t know if it works that way, but I wasn’t going to chance it.  Check out how to make them here.

I’m curious, have you ever eaten chicken feet?  If you haven’t before, would you now knowing the kind of nutritious powerhouse punch they pack?



Article Name
How to Peel and Cook Chicken Feet for the Most Nourishing Broth you can Make
Learn how to peel and cook chicken feet so you can use them in broth.
Publisher Name
Simple Life of a Country Wife

4 thoughts on “How to Peel and Cook Chicken Feet for the Most Nourishing Broth you can Make”

  1. I have seen chicken feet at my Walmart right in the meat case with the other chicken. Our oldest daughter and her husband lived in China for a year and they were eaten battered and fried there as we eat chicken wings here. They never had the courage to try them.

  2. Our local Walmart just started selling chicken feet. I usually made beef bone broth, but those bones are hard to find now. I gather they are more profitable if made into dog chews. So, now I am currently using turkey necks, chicken necks, and chicken backs from Whole Foods to make bone broth. I want to try the chicken feet to make broth. I won’t be skinning them, though, just scrubbing. I’ve raised chickens, and the idea does not bother me.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *