Finding a frozen stewing hen for a buck a pound is my idea of excitement. I'd been looking at packages of chicken thighs and thinking what I really wanted was an old hen (yeah, yeah, takes one to know one, ha-ha). I was shopping in an unfamiliar store and when I rounded the corner to look at frozen duck prices, I spotted the hen. Well, that settled that-it was cheaper than a package of wings.
I'd buy them frequently if they were more widely available. Mr. Eat The Blog used to work with a woman that supplied us with stewing hens, as well as chicken and duck eggs in exchange for breads and pies, but he's since changed jobs and lost touch. I don't know anyone keeping poultry that would like to barter, so it isn't something I splurge on often. I'm so excited about my cheap stewing hen, I could practically burst. Strange, considering I won't be eating it. I just want to make a fricassee. Thankfully, Mr. Eat The Blog is happy eating days worth of leftovers. Poor fellow has been eating a round roast for the past week without complaint (he really did seem to enjoy it).
I wonder why stewing hens have fallen out of popularity? It seems like my mother frequently bought them, particularly if she was making soup. One almost never sees them anymore, and when they do show up, they are frozen. Strange.