Chicken Foot (feet) Soup is made throughout the Caribbean as part of our “Soup Saturday” menu, so anyone’s claim to this soup is pure rubbish. That said, this recipe is loosely based on the Jamaican way of making this iconic comfort food. Get that big soup pot out!
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion (sliced)
6-8 cloves garlic (smashed)
8-10 sprigs thyme
2 scallions (chopped)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 lbs chicken feet (trimmed, cleaned & washed)
10- 14 cups water
2 lbs pumpkin (cubed)
5 allspice berries
2 packs spicy chicken soup mix
4 medium potatoes (1/4s)
5 eddoes (1/2s)
3 small sweet potato (1/4s)
1 Christophene (cubed) aka chocho, chayote, Buddha’s palm or choko
1 large carrot (1/4 inch wheels)
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
For the flour dumplings
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 – 1 cup water
Notes. It’s important that you use the video below to follow along as much more is explained there. Including the use of the Jamaican cock soup mix, how this recipe is loosely based on my trip to Jamaica several years ago, as well as why I prefer bite sized dumplings as opposed to ‘spinners’ in my soups.
Please refer to the link and video above to learn how to prepare the chicken feet for cooking. Then add the oil to your soup pot on a medium flame, along with the onion, garlic, scallion, thyme and black pepper. Turn the heat down to low and gently cook for 3-4 minutes.
Turn the heat up slightly (medium low) and add the trimmed, cleaned and washed chicken feet to the pot. Stir well!
After 3 minutes, add enough water to cover the chicken feet by about 3 inches as we’ll add the pumpkin, allspice berries, salt and packages of soup mix to the pot, as soon as it comes to a boil. You will need to raise the heat to bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
It’s now time to add the potato, sweet potato, Christophene (while I didn’t peel it, I did remove and discard the core – watch the video), carrot and eddoes to the pot, top-up with more water and bring back to a rolling boil.
As this cooks away, it’s time to create a soft dough by kneading the ingredients for the dumplings mentioned above. Cover with a damp cloth or paper towel until it’s time to shape the dumplings.
30 minutes later and everything should be fully cooked and tender, so it’s time to shape the dumplings. As explained in the video I much prefer bitesize dumplings as opposed to ‘spinners’ as traditionally done in Jamaica. I broke up the main dough-ball into 5 pieces on a flour-dusted surface, then I rolled each one out like a long skinny cigar, after-which using a pairing knife, I cut into small pieces and added them to the soup.
The dumplings will only take about 5-7 minutes to fully cook, so we’re almost done.
Finish off by tasting for salt and adjusting to your liking. Please keep in mind that we limited the amount of salt at the start as the pre-packaged soup will be high in sodium. Add the chopped parsley, turn off the stove and give it a final mix.
To personalize this soup further you may add Yam, Dasheen, Green Cooking Banana or any other ground provision you enjoy. I didn’t add a scotch bonnet pepper to the mix as the packaged soup I used was spicy. However you may add as much as you can tolerate, should you wish. Additionally you may add a tablespoon of Caribbean Green Seasoning for a more pronounced herbal note near the end.