Peeling Duck Feet

Last week we helped some friends process some of their ducks (more on that later.) I asked if they were going to keep the feet for bone broth, and they were a bit horrified because the feet were so nasty. I showed them how to peel the nasty parts off, revealing a sparkling clean foot, full of collagen and gelatin for the most luxurious duck bone broth. They kindly gave me the feet anyway and will save those from their next batch of ducks.

I know it’s gross looking, but hey, why waste the best part? Here is how you clean chicken feet.

Yes, they are nasty. If you are processing your own ducks or any other poultry, make sure you dunk the feet into the scalding water bath while you are doing the bird.


If you can only get them dirty, take them home and simmer a pot of water on the stove, and put the feet in the hot water for a minute or so, until they dirty outer skin begins to peel away when you rub it.


You will be able to peel off all the gross parts and even the outer dirty nails will come off, leaving a perfectly clean one underneath.


All clean!


I have not mastered the art of preparing gizzards but they are great for bone broth. I freeze the feet in ziplock bags and use a few of them each time I make poultry bone broth.


Poultry for us is a real luxury, as I have not gone into the process of raising meat chicks, and only rarely process our chickens or ducks. My friends generously also gave us a duck for helping them, and it was a huge Pekin Duck with LOTS of fat. Yum!


I salted and peppered it and layered it with grapefruit slices (only use organic citrus for this, as the peel is delicious to eat as well, oranges are fantastic with duck) and roasted it in a clay cooker.


Delicious! We also made a duck salad with some of the meat, I saved a half pint of the delectable fat, and used all the skin, bones, feet, gizzards… for an amazing bone broth, which has been simmering all week on the stove.

Later I’ll show how I make poultry bone broth with stinging nettles. Here is how I make beef or lamb bone broth.

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