I made this chicken foot souse for old year's night (new year's eve) and shared the recipe on my youtube page. Life got a little busy after that and it has taken me a few weeks to add the recipe to my blog. Be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel so you don't miss updates. Also please follow me on instagram, I post a lot of trial recipes and daily cooking tips there that don't always make it to the blog.
My dad is the king of souse in our family. He makes chicken foot souse whenever we visit him because my husband (and everyone else) LOVES his souse. He also always made souse for new year's eve. I wonder if it's because a lot of drinking usually happens that night and souse is great for hang overs? Hmmm, I should ask him. This year with two kids under 6 we decided to stay put for new year's eve, so I begged my dad for his chicken foot souse recipe so we could still enjoy his souse tradition.
Let me tell you, getting this recipe was like pulling teeth, so I hope you guys know how hard I work for you. I literally got it in pieces over two weeks and even when I was actually making it and filming, my dad was calling me to say he forgot to tell me this or that. Sigh. But you know what? It all worked out. It came out perfect and now I have it documented so next time there won't be any hiccups.
The link to the youtube video will be at the end of this post, just before the recipe page.
The Chicken Foot Souse Recipe:
I started by cutting the nails/tips from the chicken foot/feet. I used my kitchen sheers because it was easier than chopping them with a knife. Sometimes the underside (side that would have been touching the ground when the chicken walks) is bruised and needs to be cut off, but these chicken feet were perfect, not a bruise in sight.
When I was done cutting all the nails/tips off, I soaked the chicken feet in a water and white vinegar mixture for about 30 minutes. I used 1 cup of white vinegar and about 4 cups of water. This gets rid of some of the raw chicken taste that chicken feet tends to have, even after it is cooked. Guyanese people call this a rank taste.
My dad ALWAYS adds corn to his chicken foot souse. When I posted the chicken foot souse video on instagram showing, many people commented that they never had corn in souse, but I am telling you the sweetness of the corn and the tanginess of the vinegar creates an interesting flavor explosion that I welcome with every bite. I didn't want the corn to be difficult to eat, so I chopped each ear of corn into 5 or 6 pieces.
Then I added the chicken feet, corn, seasoning and water to my instant pot and pressure cooked until it was tender and the meat was falling off the bone and the bone was dissolving in your mouth. Seriously, you want it to be so tender that you could chew up the bones with little effort, and don't pretend like you don't chew chicken bones!
After 30 minutes of pressure cooking the chicken feet and corn, the chicken feet was cooked to the right consistency. I love my instant pot (electric pressure cooker). If you don't have one, get one here. It has changed my life! No joke! It's quiet so you don't hear all that noise typical pressure cookers make. Also it doesn't release any steam while pressure cooking so your entire house doesn't smell like boiled chicken feet. Which is a plus plus in my book.
While the corn and chicken feet were pressure cooking I chopped up all the seasoning/garnishes for this dish. I cut the onions into thin rings, peeled and sliced the cucumber (check out the video to see how I peeled the cucumbers), I sliced up some scallions and celery leaves and of course chopped up some wiri wiri pepper. I also measured out ¼ cup of vinegar that will be added to the souse. Vinegar is a key ingredient in souse as it helps to give it that pickled taste.
While the souse was still hot, I added the vinegar, all of the seasoning and the garnish and mixed well.
Then I let the chicken foot souse cool down to room temperature before pouring it into my serving dish. My husband gave it two thumbs up, but also said to my dad, this doesn't mean I'm not expecting souse the next time we come to NY. I can't come between this man and his love for food.
Link to Youtube Video:
Printable Recipe Card
Chicken Foot Souse
- 2 lbs chicken feet
- 3 ears of corn cut into 5 or 6 pieces
- 5 cups water plus water to wash and soak chicken feet
- 1 cup white vinegar + ¼ cup
- 1 tablespoon Lawry's season salt
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 whole yellow onion cut into rings
- 3 heads of scallions/green onions thinly sliced
- 1 large cucumber peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 wiri wiri peppers finely chopped
- 1 cup celery leaves finely chopped
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- Cut the nails/tips from all of the chicken feet.
- Wash the chicken feet with water, then soak in 1 cup of white vinegar and about 4 cups water for 30 minutes.
- Add chicken feet, corn, 5 cups of water, Lawry's season salt, cloves, salt and dried thyme to a pressure cooker and pressure cook until chicken feet are very tender (meat almost falling off the bone). About 30 minutes.
- Once chicken feet are tender, add vinegar, onion, scallions, cucumbers, wiri wiri pepper and chopped celery leaves.
- Mix together well, then let cool to room temperature before serving.
2. I let my souse sit in the pot until it was cool and then poured it into my serving dish
3. Some people also add a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice to their souse. Feel free to add lime juice if you like.
When you soaked the cut up chicken feet in water and vinegar, did you drain it off before you put the chicken feet in the pot with more water and vinegar?
I heard about chicken feet pepperpot from a school friend who lives in atlanta but never had it at home. many years ago i made real souse, it looked good, smelled good, tasted good but couldn't eat it when it was done.
I am allergic to celery, what would you suggest instead?
Althea Brown says
I did drain the water off and rinsed before adding the chicken feet to the pressure pot. Good catch I’ll edit the instructions so that this is clear. Can you have cilantro? That would be a close substitute for celery.
Jayme Hoyte says
Hi Ms. Brown,
My Name is Jayme Hoyte Owner of Hello beautiful world travel magazine. our magazine aims to highlight countries, as we traverse them, there beauty, culture, food, art and overall experiences. this month we are covering the country of Guyana and we would love to feature your recipe of the chicken foot souSe. The next issue is shedule to go out between the 1st and 5th of November.
I know it's a bit last minute, but let us know if you are interested in being featured and we will try to speed up the process. Looking forward to your favorable response.
Please enlist all of your social media handles in your email to us. thanks very much!
Sharelyn D says
Hi! While I love souse, I can’t do the chicken feet. If I substitute it for cow heel, would it be the same amount of time in the Insta pot? I have never pressure cooked cow heel, usually just let it boil in a regular pot. So, any guidance you can provide would be amazing. Thank you.
I would like to know this as well. I do not eat chicken feet so instructions on cooking the cow foot or pig tail would be appreciated.