The Unexpected Chicken Part That Makes Soup Delicious

If there's one staple comfort food dish that makes you feel like you've been wrapped in a warm hug, it's got to be chicken soup. Whether shot through with rice, bulked out with noodles, or seasoned with any number of "secret ingredients" including fresh lemon juice or a parmesan rind, chicken soup is not only warming and delicious, it also boasts a whole host of healthful properties such as the ability to reduce cold symptoms and even (if you're using bone broth) nourish our skin from the inside out.

If you've ever done an online search for chicken soup recipes, you've probably noticed that there seem to be a million and one variations out there for the picking. And while many chicken soup recipes call for a whole bird or just shredded chicken breast, some call for a specific part of the chicken that's sure to add a surprising depth of flavor and a luxurious texture to your next batch of chicken soup, though you may have to go to the butcher or a specialty shop to procure it.

Add some chicken feet to your soup

Do you wince at the idea of eating chicken feet? Perhaps you shouldn't: though rarely consumed in the U.S., chicken feet are a common ingredient in Chinese, Mexican, and Caribbean cuisines, to name a few. Chicken feet have almost no meat on them, but Healthline shares they are loaded with gelatin-rich skin and cartilage. Chicken feet are often prepared in soups or fried and enjoyed with a beer.

But even if you don't want to go all in on eating actual chicken feet, it's an excellent idea to use them in chicken soup. According to The Spruce Eats, apart from being packed with gelatin which will bring a rich, smooth texture to your soup, the ingredient also boasts a ton of concentrated chicken flavor. If you really can't get over the talons, you don't have to actually eat the feet; rather, The Spruce Eats suggests making chicken stock with the ingredient. A pound of chicken feet will yield four quarts of chicken stock, to which you can add your cooked chicken meat and all the tasty vegetables you use in your soup.