Pasture Raised Stew Chicken
A stewing chicken is processed after 16 weeks, while fryers and broilers are processed around 8 weeks, Because of the age of the bird, stewing chicken meat can be tough unless cooked properly. Stewing chicken is best used in slow-cooking dishes like stew and soup but it IS THE BEST choice for stews, soups, broth, and chicken salads because the meat is so much more flavorful and unctuous.
Unlike broilers that are raised for meat and fattened relatively quickly, stewing hens have the opportunity to develop very strong bones, and strong, lean muscles. These bones are incredibly mineral rich, and the fat from these hens is full of fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients. Because of their rich nutritional content, stewing hens make excellent stock. A stewing hen’s lean meat contains a high level of connective tissue, which works wonderfully for slow cooked dishes such as stew, soup, and chicken and dumplings. (1)
We raise the Rainbow Ranger chickens as stew birds on our farm. Our chickens are naturally suited to higher animal welfare and all true natural rearing systems like full pasturing and free ranging. Our birds love foraging in our pastures and gardens outside in our field shelters everyday. The floor-less field shelters protect our birds from predators while providing natural sunlight and fresh air, as well as ground scratching and dust bathing. They are moved every day to fresh pasture after animals that “mow” ahead of the shelters which shortens the grass and encourages the chickens to feast on as much fresh forage as they would like.
These birds make a wonderful dish because they get to act like a real chicken. Allowing the chickens to do what comes naturally ensures an incredible meal for your table!
It makes a real difference when you serve up a real chicken!