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Spent Hen Help

pushbinlou Feb 5, 2012 05:03 AM

Hi all,

So I just received a 2.5 lb spent hen from my CSA. I was going to either use it to make a soup or stock. Does anybody have any tips, suggestions, ideas or recipes?

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    sparrowgrass RE: pushbinlou Feb 5, 2012 05:26 AM

    I assume that you mean a hen that is too old to lay. If that is the case, the birdie will be very tough, but will have great flavor. I have laying hens, and when I have to deal with an old bird, I make stock, using my pressure cooker. I don't bother with the meat--I just pressure cook in water, with onion, celery and carrots, until the very bones are soft. I use the meat/veg mix as dog food. The stock is wonderful. Did you get the feet, too?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sparrowgrass
      pushbinlou RE: sparrowgrass Feb 5, 2012 06:23 AM

      Yes I do mean a hen that is too old to lay. Unfortunately I did not get any feet. I was surprised at how small the bird was but I assume it will still make a great stock.

    2. nofunlatte RE: pushbinlou Feb 5, 2012 06:18 AM

      I'm going to second the stock recommendation. I bought an old stewing hen at the farmer's market and made stock and coq au vin. The meat was very stringy and not particularly good. But the coq au vin sauce was amazing! I did have pieces of "regular" chicken in the mixture, too.

      Also used a stewing hen for stock, which was probably the best stock I've ever made!

      1 Reply
      1. re: nofunlatte
        soccermom13 RE: nofunlatte Feb 5, 2012 06:25 AM

        Me three. I cooked a very old laying hen, using long, slow, moist cooking, and the meat was still tough and stringy. Use it to make stock and use Sparrowgrass' great tip to use the meat at dog food.

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        pushbinlou RE: pushbinlou Feb 5, 2012 06:54 AM

        Thanks for all of the replies. Unfortunately I don't have a pressure cooker but I assume I can still make a decent stock?

        1 Reply
        1. re: pushbinlou
          nofunlatte RE: pushbinlou Feb 5, 2012 06:56 AM

          As long as you have a big pot, you can make stock--just takes time. I don't have a pressure cooker either.

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