The links on this site may be affiliate links which means we may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

How to cook a stewing hen (full tutorial)
Nothing quite like homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup made with a stewing hen, homemade chicken broth, and tons of vegies and herbs. Mmmm, yummy! This full tutorial will walk you through how to cook a stewing hen, why you want to, and what to do with it when you’re done.
Servings Prep Time
1 1/2pounds 1hour (divided)
Cook Time Passive Time
4.5hours 3.5hours
Servings Prep Time
1 1/2pounds 1hour (divided)
Cook Time Passive Time
4.5hours 3.5hours
Blanch Stewing Hen
  • 1each Stewing Henor rooster
  • 6-8quarts waterapproximately 6-8 quarts, more or less
Stewing Hen
Blanching Stewing Hen
  1. Rinse the stewing hen and remove any remaining visible “residue” like little bits of feathers, etc. In a large 6-8 quart stock pot, place the bird and fill with cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to keep at a low boil for about 30 minutes.
  3. Once the pot has come to a bubble, you will start to notice foam developing on the surface of the water. Skim off this foam every few minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, strain the chicken and discard the water. I even rinse the sides of the pot to get some of the scum off.
Cooking Stewing Hen
  1. Refill the pot with cold water to within about three inches from the top of the pot and turn back on to bring to a boil. Add in your vegetables, herbs, and seasonings.
  2. Once back at a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. You do not want to boil the chicken, you want to keep it at a low but steady simmer (bubbles just breaking the surface but not a rolling boil).
  3. Cover the stockpot, but leave the lid cockeyed/cracked to allow some of the steam to escape. Simmer for 3-4 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone. Depending on the size of your bird, you may need to adjust the cooking time a little.
  4. Using tongs, remove the stewing hen from the pot, then let cool for a little while until you can comfortably handle it.
  5. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegies from the pot and discard. Strain the chicken broth through a fine mesh sieve, or colander lined with cheesecloth. If not using the broth right away, chill and then freeze.
  6. Use a fork and the best tools god gave us (your hands) to remove the meat. I like to take care of the wings and drumsticks first, then work on the body of the chicken. Try to remove and separate as much of the meat as possible. Save the bones and bits of cartilage for making bone broth and discard the skin, fat and icky bits.
  7. Ta da, you now have stewing hen chicken meat, soup broth, and a big crock pot worth of bones for bone broth. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

If your bird tends to float up out of the water, then make sure to give it a flip a few times throughout, to ensure even cooking. You may need to add additional water during the cooking process.

To make sure the stewing hen is tender enough, wiggle the drumstick and wings with tongs. If the drumsticks move freely and the wings wiggle easily, then your stewing hen is now ready.