A Deliciously Tasty Chicken Foot Soup Recipe

Chicken foot soup is as much a method as it is a recipe. Chicken feet soup comes from the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, and Africa. In the hot parts of the world, hot soups are dishes that are eaten all year long and can be enjoyed any time, even when it’s really hot out – especially when it’s really hot out, because the hot soup, especially a hot, spicy soup, makes you sweat a lot more and paradoxically, the sense of being hotter will cool your body down faster.

Chicken foot soup is also called chicken feet, chicken paws, and chicken claws, and as you might guess from the name, it’s made from the cut-off feet of a chicken mixed with veggies and other basic ingredients to make something truly enjoyable and exciting.

The odd appearance of the foot bones floating in either a thick or a clear soup can be shocking to someone from the US who’s exclusively used to soups using shredded chicken meat.

But it’s a great, traditional comfort food with a big shock of spiciness that you would not expect in the US from a chicken soup, and that’s as good a reason as any to give it a try if you’re looking for something new to have any time. Enjoy this classic Caribbean Chicken Foot Soup Recipe

Chicken Foot Soup

Richly flavored with chicken, spices, and peppers, this delicious Caribbean soup with Old World flavors gives you everything you’re looking for in Afro-Caribbean cooking. You may be tempted to ease back on the spice, avoid the temptation if possible. It is delicious and hot, and if you’re having it in a hot climate, or in the summer, the spiciness will cool you off far more quickly than the hot soup alone. People in the hot zones eat their traditional foods very spicy and hot for a reason!

  • Time: 1 hour (plus the time needed to simmer the broth)
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Servings: 6-8



  • 1-gallon chicken stock or water (or 4 liters)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lb. chicken foot, washed, and skinned with the talons cut off
  • 4-5 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make broth in the way you’d usually make broth: Plop your chicken feet into the bay leaves, vinegar, and water and simmer until the water tastes deeply of chicken.


  • Prepared chicken broth plus chicken feet
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 russet potatoes, cubed
  • ½ pound yam, cubed
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 springs fresh thyme, minced
  • 1-2 small stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped

Sweat the onion, celery, and carrots together until they’re just softened (called Mirepoix in French), add the garlic and thyme, and continue sauteing until just fragrant, then set aside.

  • 1-2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp allspice powder
  • 2 tbsp Adobo
  • 1 hot pepper (serrano or hotter, feel free to play with as much fire as you can take!)
  • 1-2 cups of Pumpkin or other squash, chopped
  • 5 cups of water at least
  • 1-2 ears of sweet corn, cut into wheels of 4-5 kernels’ depth.
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Once the broth and additional water have come to a boil, re-add the chicken feet and boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Add pumpkin or squash, yam, potatoes, hot pepper, adobo, allspice, ginger, and chicken bouillon, and simmer for 45 minutes or so.
  • With 10 minutes to go, add the corn wheels.
  • Just before serving, season with salt, pepper, and ginger to taste, add the lemon juice, and serve out into bowls, making sure the feet are evenly distributed to each bowl.

Refrigeration and Freezing:

You want to only freeze a soup – any soup – once. The ice crystals formed in the meat and vegetables will do some damage the first time you freeze, but the second time it’s pure chaos. If you don’t think you’ll use all you freeze in one go, make sure you’re freezing it in portions so you can take out whatever portion you need and leave the rest for later.

In the refrigerator, it will keep for about a week. Put it in the freezer and you’ll have it for 2-3 months before the flavors start to get dull. If you’re toward the end of that time, think about revitalizing the flavors with another shot of vinegar or lemon juice when you thaw it to reheat.

Chicken Feet Soup FAQs

Where Can I Get Chicken Feet?

Most large chain supermarkets in the United States – your Cub, your Hy-Vee, Kroger’s, Albertson’s – will not carry chicken feet because they’re seen in the US as a specialty item. You have a couple of options to get your chicken feet: One is to go to a specialty butcher and request them. This is an ok option if you have it available but it might be a little expensive.

The best places to get chicken feet from in big cities are specialty markets that cater to non-white people. If you’re white, you might be the only pale-skinned face in the place. Whether you are or you aren’t, we cannot emphasize this enough, be kind, humble, and respectful because you’re a visitor to another culture that lives right alongside yours.

What Should I Serve This Soup With?

Soup can always be served with crusty bread. This soup is thick enough to scoop up with your bread or with a spoon, and your chicken feet can be eaten like wings, for the most part – they’re the same part in the same way that your feet and your hands are the same. They’re optimized for different actions, but they’re still basically the same set of bones.

What Kind of Substitutions Can I Make?

If you absolutely cannot find chicken feet, no matter what you try, substituting wings will give you some of the same feelings as eating the meat off the bone. It won’t be the same, but it’s close, especially if you go the all-paddles route. If you want to substitute some squashes, you can pull in a chayote or if they’re rare in your area, zucchini. The key to dishes like this is improvisation, making the most of what you have available to you at the time. If you’re cooking from the heart, whatever changes you have to make to the recipe to fit your ingredients are fine. But don’t skimp on the spice.

Try this delicious traditional recipe today. If you drink, a Red Stripe or other Caribbean beer will be fantastic with this soup. Enjoy!

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