Chicken Feet (preferably kosher or local) in Boston
I assume that Mayflower on Cambridge St. will carry this product, but I would like to learn if the product is available there or elsewhere that specifically meet one of two requirements and ideally both.
I called the Butcherie to learn if this Kosher market ever carries chicken feet. The answer was NO. However there is no reason rooted in the regulations of kashrut that forbids their consumption. I suspect it is simply a question of the lack of market demand. If the Butcherie does not sell them I don't expect to find kosher chicken feet anywhere else in the Boston area, but I am throwing the question out for discussion.
The other option I would consider are the feet of local chickens. What suppliers in Massachusetts carry locally raised chciken feet? During the summer months I could contact chicken farmers who offer their wares at CSA markets, but I don't remember any of their names. Since I regularly drive between Boston and western Mass, I would consideri any suppliers of local, organic, humanely raised feet within hailing range of the Mass Pike.
You might be curious as to why I pose this odd request. I am to make chicken soup for about 20 for the first seder this April. My hostess keeps a kosher kitchen, but she is also a locavore so she violates kashrut if the meat product is locally sourced and humanely raised, hence the two options.
I am looking for chicken feet since I believe (but correct me if I am wrong) that they will impart a particularly gelatinous and thick quality to the stock. That is a quality I prize in chicken soup. Normally I achieve it by buying many pounds of raw chichen carcasses from the Butcherie, but I am considering other options.
I know that Mayflower does offer freshly killed poultry, but I doubt they are locally, organically and humanely raised, those criteria that will particularly please my locavore hostess.
I buy the organically raised chickens at Mayflower and keep the feet to use for stock. But since most people don't want the feet, you should ask them to set some aside for you. I know they do this with the heads (sorry) for people who prize the tongues and brains (sorry again) to buy in bulk.
I believe they are locally raised.
re: dulce de leche
Mayflower's organic chickens come, I believe, from Connecticut. I always find them dependably honest about their sources and conditions not all of which will please buyers. I bought beautiful capons there this week for passover seder. and yes, chicken feet added to the stock definitely adds body and gelatin. my mom used to add the feet, the unborn eggs, and when she thought we needed "iron" she'd add marrow bones.
Mayflower offers chicken products from New England (CT) and they are raised w/o antibiotics, plus they are willing to discuss (fairly openly I think) the raising conditions. You may have to order chicken feet. They do offer organic chickens, which you must pre-order or purchase on Fridays, but I don't believe they can offer individual parts. Pete and Jen's backyard birds do process poultry for other local farmers but also works with whole birds, but perhaps its something they might be able to arrange, worth a call but you'd probably need some lead time.