Chicken foot souse is a vibrant, tangy Caribbean delicacy made with a delicious medley of spices, herbs, and veggies. Enjoy it as a hearty snack or meal.
Guyanese Chicken Foot Souse
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.
One holiday, we decided to stay home, 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.
- Guyanese Chicken Foot Souse
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe for Chicken Foot Souse
- What is souse?
- Ingredients for Guyanese Chicken Foot Souse
- How to Make Chicken Foot Souse
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- Tips for the Best Souse
- Recipe Variations
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Chicken Foot Souse
Why You’ll Love This Recipe for Chicken Foot Souse
- Caribbean Comfort Food: This dish is rich with savory flavor, and a lip puckering, mouthwatering broth.
- Made Conveniently with an Instant Pot: 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.
- A Unique Twist on a Guyanese Classic: 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.
What is souse?
Souse is a general term used to describe a range of dishes that involve pickling or marinating meats. Vinegar is a key ingredient in Caribbean souse, which is usually made with pig feet, cow tongue, or chicken feet/foot.
Ingredients for Guyanese Chicken Foot Souse
Chop up chicken feet, soak it in a vinegar-water mixture than add them to an Instant Pot with an array of vegetbles, spices, and seasonings.
- Chicken feet: Trim and rinsed.
- Ears of Corn: Cut into 5 or 6 pieces.
- Water: To wash and soak chicken feet and additinal water to cook the chicken foot.
- White vinegar: This tenderizes the meat and adds flavor.
- Spices & Seasoning: I use Lawry’s season salt, whole cloves, salt, dried thyme, finely chopped wiri wiri peppers, finely chopped celery leaves.
- Veggies: I use whole yellow onion cut into rings, thinly sliced scallions/green onions, and peeled and thinly sliced cucumber.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Chicken Foot Souse
Prepare Chicken Feet
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.
Pressure Cook Chicken Foot and Corn in Instant Pot
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).
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 1/4 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.
Although you can store leftover chicken foot souse in an airtight container in the fridge, it will coagulate once refrigerated. So this recipe is best enjoyed fresh. For the best results, store the veggies sepearately from the broth and chicken foot. Still, you can reheat it in the microwave or over medium low heat on the stovetop until warmed through.
Tips for the Best Souse
- Use fresh chicken feet for the best taste. There should be no discoloration, strong odor, or slimy coating.
- Make sure that there is enough water to cover the chicken feet and corn in the pot. I used my instant pot (electric pressure cooker) when making this recipe, so most of the liquid used during pressure cooking was retained. For a regular pressure cooker you may need to add more water before pressure cooking.
- Souse is best served cooled to room temperature. I let my souse sit in the pot until it’s cool and then pour it into serving dishes.
- Meat: Swap out pig foot for any part of a chicken, pig, or cow that you prefer (usually head, ears, feet, knuckles, or shoulders).
- Citrus: Some people also add a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice to their souse. Feel free to add lime juice if you like.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although souse is popular across the Caribbean, the dish originated in England. European colonial migrants preserved meat with acidity. The liquid used to preserve the meat was then used as broth.
Start by rinsing the chicken feet thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Next trim off any sharp or excess nails or claws with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Then add it a bowl of water and vinegar in order to remove the poultry taste and tenderize the chicken.
Chicken Foot Souse
- Instant Pot
- 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 + 1/4 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
- 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.
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.