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Posts Tagged ‘Chicken feet’

I took the dogs out for a last potty before bed last night and discovered my neighbor was outside having a smoke.  She is my first “friend” in our new neighborhood, we’ve had a few conversations and seem to have a bit in common, plus I don’t have many girl friends.  I don’t know what it is but girls tend to be a bit more… drama then men.  I have two very close friends from high school who are female but that’s about it.  Anyway, we got to chatting and all of a sudden I blurt out “we’ve been juicing and I feel great!”  Then I laughed and said “oh I’m such a dork.”  I started telling her about the juicing, how great I feel and that I got the idea from the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  She, to my surprise, had actually heard of it.  I also encouraged her to watch the free viewing of Hungry for Change.  It was strange though, I mean she and I don’t really know each other well.  She has told me a bit about her divorce and some personal stuff, but I’ve only lived next to her since November.  There I was standing in the rain, in my pink slippers, chatting about how great juicing made me feel.  It’s a bit unlike me actually, I’m not a get in your face type of person.  If you see something and ask then I’ll tell you generally, but just blurting stuff out to someone who is pretty much a stranger, is just not my style, but there I was.

Wednesday night Hubby made some organic locally grown hamburger with some brown rice and topped it with some Bragg’s amino acids, and some fresh veggies, including some home-grown sprouts.  I really thought I wanted it, it was the first time I ate meat a while.  It didn’t leave me feeling the way I thought I would.  I didn’t feel bad, but I certainly didn’t feel the way I do normally, well my normal now that is.  I found myself going back to the kitchen to top my bowl off with more fresh sprouts, what is going on with me!?

Yesterday we ran out of produce, so I juiced everything we had in the morning and shared it with Hubby.  It wasn’t enough to keep me full all day, so I munched on nuts and had some chicken feet soup stock with veggies.  Yet my body was craving juice.  Hubby went to the store and I came home to a big glass of juice, it hit my stomach and every cell was dancing.

Several years ago I became a vegetarian, I did it because I felt like a hypocrite.  How could I eat meat if I was too squeamish to kill it myself?  I lasted a year until a steak from a BBQ called me away from that life.  I’m not claiming to be a vegetarian but I can say that my body is reacting very well to this new diet.  I had a huge salad last night that filled me up, which is fairly uncommon, usually only carbs fill me like that.  I’m a sugar addict, and yet I don’t crave sugar anymore!  In fact, I don’t crave anything really.  I would get cravings for hamburgers (fat), carbs and sweets, coffee… now my body seems to only crave juice and healthy produce.  It feels weird, and yet exciting.  I’ve even lost some weight to boot!  Weight loss is not the goal but it is a nice motivator, I sure have some pounds to lose.  My skin is starting to clear up, I have color in my skin, I am more clear in thinking, and I have more energy than I use to, even my hair has more of a luster to it.  My body likes this new juicing thing!  I feel amazing, absolutely amazing and I never use to feel amazing.  Just the other day I was in my office and it was a slow day and I was alone, so I started doing squats and wall push ups and then jogging in place.  I felt all light and good so I started to do jumping jacks and soon remembered that my body weight has not quite caught up to how good I feel, I was reminded how heavy I felt, but that is just temporary.  Juicing is a lifestyle, I don’t believe it’s fleeting for a moment, because once you start and feel good, you can’t stop!  I feel amazing!

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We went to our first chicken slaughter well over a year ago, maybe two.  We have built a friendly relationship with our local feed & seed staff and they invited us out for a chicken slaughter.  We have been to several others they have put on over the past year and a half.  As we learn more about nutrition and food the slaughters become more interesting, for working a day we get our share of chickens, plus we get organ meat and this last time chicken feet.  Now let me tell you, if I thought getting to the organ meat was hard, looking at that grocery bag in the freezer with talons hanging out… it was really easy to just let it sit there.

I have zero experience with chicken feet, ZERO.  Honestly I didn’t even know they were edible.  I did a little research, but only a little… actually I think I looked at one website.  I knew that the feet were nutritious and from a gal at our feed & seed that they make a gel when you cook it, she called it gelatin, instantly I’m thinking cherry flavored, wait… cherry flavored chicken feet?  I guess we’re not talking JELLO here.  So Sunday I pulled out the chicken feet from the freezer and put them in the sink, here is what they looked like frozen.

All the dark bits are dirt and poo, plus you have the added bonus of blood, it was nasty slaughtering them but the feet are funky.  So I dumped them in to a sink full of cold water.  See there is this skin on the chicken feet, that yellow color is the skin.  Apparently you blanch the feet “briefly” and this skin is supposed to come right off, so for that not to happen while we were cleaning them we used cold water.

The dirt and poo came off, so did the blood and there were some extra feathers hanging around.  So if I sounded a bit sarcastic above about the skin on the feet it’s because I was.  See the skin killed the process for us, it was the most annoying thing ever!  The bag we did ended up being three different batches.  We blanched the first batch the longest and the skin came off but so did most of the meat under it.  The article I read said that it could become like glue if blanched too long, but honestly it didn’t feel very long.  Hubby asked “What did it say? How long are we suppose to blanch?”  “Briefly” was my answer, because that is what the article said.  The next batch, Hubby dumped in walked to the sink to get the strainer, then grabbed the pot and dumped the water.  It couldn’t have even been 30 seconds, but again the stupid skin was the worst!  Third batch, a little longer than the second batch and less than the first, and still we were left with skin we couldn’t peel off.  By the last batch we were so annoyed with chicken feet and skin we just left some on and I decided I’d just strain the soup stock.

Finally after we got them all done into a big pot they went with very good filtered water.  I think water is very important and the additives they put in city water, along with all the pharmaceuticals they have found in most city waters, it can be really bad for us.  So when you make soup use good filtered water.  Added the feet and on the stove it went for the evening.

Tonight I am enjoying the soup.  I added some dehydrated chantrelle mushrooms we had harvest in the fall, dehydrated tomatoes, onion, garlic, celery, cabbage, and rice and made a hardy soup.  The chicken feet stock is mild, although we’ll probably add more water and let them boil another night.  With salt it tastes like the real deal, and it is a gel at cold temperatures, that means you go the “good stuff” out of the feet.  It has a lot of fat on top, which is healthy fat.  Fat is good for us people! Don’t listen to the people who says it isn’t.  Anyway, after all that finally enjoying the fruits of our labor.  It was very labor intensive, if you know how to skin chicken feet better, PLEASE tell me, we have two more bags in the freezer!  I suspect if you buy them in the store they will already be skinned, this is worth it though.  We used the whole chicken, even parts people would discard and we got tons of meals out of it, plus a boatload of nutrition.  So for the first time ever I’m enjoying chicken feet, who would have thought.

 

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