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These pickled chicken feet are excellent to put in your dinner recipes, to feed to your dogs (they love ’em!) or to experiment with.
We are excited about almost anything “pickled” in the South. On any given day, most Southerners are up for a culinary taste challenge and like to think they are ready for almost any pickle, be it sweet or savory.
In particular, we accept the dare to try something different, unusual, and “out of the box“. And while the kids might not rush to eat it, it’s a healthy meat option.
Pickled Chicken Feet
Where do you buy chicken feet?
You can purchase chicken feet at your grocery store (Walmart), from a local butcher, or friendly chicken farmer. They are sometimes called chicken paws. Do your research before you go shopping to find the freshest and get the best “bang for your buck“.
Chicken feet nutrition facts and dietary info
Chicken feet are made up of bones, skin, and tendons, but no muscles. They have many health benefits for your diet, as they are packed with calcium, protein, and cartilage which the body easily absorbs.
These essential nutrients are necessary for good joint movement and to decrease joint pain and arthritis. The feet are also full of collagen, which is said to promote a good, clear complexion. The high level of calcium in the feet help reduce the risk of brittle nails and bones.
The pickled chicken feet are fairly low in calories, carbs, and sugar while high in protein and a long list of vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy diet.
Things To Remember When Pickling Chicken Feet
Use only FRESH (not frozen), undamaged and unspoiled fruits/vegetables/meats. Always clean produce thoroughly. Cut uniform sizes, ideally small enough to both fit in a jar and keep bite size. Prepare & measure out everything before heating brine.
When pickling chicken feet (paws) inspect them closely for cleanliness or wholesomeness. Signs that they aren’t fresh would include a foul smell, damaged skin, or a dirty appearance. If they pass inspection, it is easy to use kitchen shears to clip off the toes.
Wash containers/jars well, let air dry. Jars are not necessary for quick pickles, but they are classic.
DO NOT USE REACTIVE COOKWARE or STORAGE CONTAINERS such as Aluminum or Copper Pots. These, when combined with vinegar, create poisonous/toxic chemicals. Glass & Stainless Steel & Non-Stick Pots and containers are ideal.
When heating the brine, bring to a boil and IMMEDIATELY pour over future pickles and spices in chosen container. Too much boiling will evaporate the vinegar, thus eliminating the ability to “pickle” anything.
Let the pickles sit over night before sampling. Hard to resist, but the flavors will meld together over the course of the 10-14 day lifespan.
A note on the herbs
Fresh herbs will give less intense flavor than dried, and more may need to be used. Some spices are more intense than others, and those that have gotten a bit stale will add less flavor.
If garlic is used, it may turn a bright blue color; there is nothing wrong with it. It’s the chemical reaction from the vinegar. Ground spices will cause a darker color pickle, whole spices will not.
Quick Pickles We Love Around Here
- Pickled Jalapenos
- Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
- Pickled Cabbage
- Pickled Sweet Peppers
- Pickled Celery
- Pickled Beets
- Pickled Cucumbers (AKA Pickles)
- Pickled Sausage
- Pickled Chicken Feet
Pickled Chicken Feet
- 1/2 lb chicken feet or paws cut tip toes off
- 1/4 tsp dill dried
- 1/4 tsp mustard seed whole
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp celery seed (not celery salt)
- 2 each bay leaves
- 2 each garlic gloves optional
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- Clean feet thoroughly. Use regular kitchen shears to clip off the toes.
- Boil for 10 minutes to cook thoroughly throughout. Put into pint jar.
- Add dill, mustard seed, black peppercorns, celery seed, bay leaves, and garlic cloves (optional) to jar. Don't worry that the spices settle at the bottom; they will rise up again and evenly distribute their flavor when you add the brine.
- Mix the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a stainless steel pan and bring to a boil.
- As soon as it reaches a good boil, pour the brine over the mixture in the jar until the feet are just covered.
- Put the top on immediately and put into the refrigerator.