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Bought a frozen hen from my butcher last week....same place where I buy fresh chicken and various kinds of meat. Good store...but this was the only time I bought a frozen chicken from them, or anyone else for that matter. Stuck the frozen hen in the freezer awaiting the day for a spatchcock on the BGE. Contacted some friends to share the hen with...unfortunately ( fortunately?? ) they couldn't make it, sooo my wife and I decided to be greedy and have it to ourselves. Defrosted and seasoned the hen, got the BGE up to temp and placed the hen on raised direct @ 400* dome. Sat back in my easy chair dreaming of chicken to come.

I must regress a bit... weeks ago I had cataract surgery on both eyes. Got the medicare lenses...thus I need reading glasses for up close work.

OK, back to the chicken. After 45 min on the BGE, internal temp of...165* breast, 185* thigh...perfect. Pulled the hen of the BGE and let it rest for 20 min. After resting, I started to carve the bird....trouble, trouble, trouble. Could hardly cut the damn thing...but managed to put some bits on our plates. Bottom line, we couldn't eat any of was tough as an old bird. I didn't know what was wrong. I've cooked/BBQ/BGE'ed chicken for most of my life...I never experienced anything quite like this. My better half thought I had purchased a STEWING HEN, which her mother used when making chicken soup. No, said I...I would have noticed that fact on the packaging. So, out to the garbage, found the outer packaging and clear as a bell ( with my reading glasses on ) it read STEWING HEN. Directions...cook it submerged in water for 4 hours, or longer, at a low temp.

What a waste...time, money and appetite. The only saving grace...our friends couldn't join us for dinner. What an embarrassment  that would have been. Moral of the story...use your reading glasses!!
Fairview, Texas


  • That is an interesting story.  I routinely use "bad" cuts of meat for all sorts of cooks, and find no adverse results.  Of course if I want a fine steak or good chop I buys those, but save money on day to day with cheaper cuts.

    I would have tried this straight out and expected it to just be a chicken.   We do "game hens" from time to time, which are just young chickens.  I noticed that frying hens are just slightly larger, and a bunch cheaper.  Next time I plan to cook a couple of those.

    So what is our conclusion?  Is a stewing hen something older, or an egg layer that out lived its productivity?

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • You had cataract surgery on BOTH eyes at the same time?  Wow!  I waited two months between the surgeries and I'm glad I did.  It took that long to focus in, and the pain would have been very uncomfortable.  By the way, I got the lenses that I don't need glasses for up close.  Very expensive, but supposedly, a lifetime fix.  Question: Are you sensitive to light?  I had my last surgery at the end of August, and I still need sunglasses every time I go outdoors.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • nemonemo Posts: 111
     VI.....I wish I had purchased the costly would have cost $5000 vs nill...these reading glasses are a pain. I was penny wise, dollar foolish. Oh well. Was advised to wear sunglasses...but don't seem to be overly sensitive to light. I live in Fairview , I normally wear sunglasses all the time. Oh, forgive me if I misled you...I had two operations, one month apart.
    Fairview, Texas
  • nemonemo Posts: 111
    From what I subsequently read...stewing hens have outlived their laying days, are 2+ years old and need to be cooked as their name implies. They are supposed to be most tasty if simmered for many hours. My wife loves homemade chicken soup...I always made it for her with a young chicken, next time I'll do as her mother once did....use a stewing hen.
    Fairview, Texas
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,710
    I did the same thing you did - it was my first BGE cook.  The bird weighed about 8 pounds.  It was inedible - very tough.   We ended up feeding most of it to the neighbor's dogs.  Ever since I've stayed away from any whole chicken over 5 pounds.  4 pounds is ideal.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nemo said:
     Oh, forgive me if I misled you...I had two operations, one month apart.
    Ah.  I feel much better now.  Having both at the same time would be a disaster.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,015
    That's why chicken "used" to be tasty and the most expensive type of meat back in the day. They had longer lifespans as opposed to the 6-8 week lifespan of the current generations.
  • RzeancakRzeancak Posts: 192
    I've done the same thing, although my sister and her family was there.  I wasn't a total waste for me because I made soup and ground up the remainder for chicken salad sandwiches.

    A child can ask questions a wise man can't answer!!!
    Large @ Small BGE 

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