The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Chicken pot pie starts with the chicken

Chicken pot pie

While my stomach healed this previous fall and winter, I devolved into the world's laziest cook. But now that I'm able to eat real food, I figured it was worth my time to cook up last year's old layers (who have been patiently waiting in the freezer).

Despite various other methods tried during our early years on the farm, I now cook all old hens slowly under moist heat before picking the flesh off the bones and using the former in various recipes. The classic is chicken pot pie, and this Epicurious recipe has become my new favorite. Except, I used homemade broth instead of storebought, shiitakes instead of button mushrooms, far more vegetables than they call for, goat milk instead of cream, and a different biscuit recipe baked separately instead of together. But, I mean, it's mostly the same. And it definitely hit the spot. Thanks, old hens!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Chicken Pot Pie a la Walden Effect! Love it!
Comment by Nayan Tue Feb 7 10:13:08 2017
I cook my old chickens (I call them homey chickens because they are grown at home) similarly to you but with some additions: enough water to cover the bird, a bay leaf, some pepper corns, celery, carrot scraps, onion scraps. I simmer for several hours then pull the meat from the bones when it comes off really easily. I strain the stock and separate the fat. Then I can the stock and make seasoned meat for tacos out of most of the meat, which I then freeze. Chopped and seasoned, and in a soft or crunchy taco, no one has ever said the meat was tough... well, except for when I tried cooking the chicken in a pressure cooker. It was stringy and just not the same.
Comment by Jennifer Wed Feb 8 20:59:17 2017

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