When it comes to fighting the cold, soups are a top weapon.
Soups come in different types and flavors.
Chicken soup is one of the most popular types around the world.
This soup is not just a delicious appetizer; it is considered healthy too.
But have you ever heard of hen soup?
And is it different from the good old chicken broth?
Yes, hen soup is different from chicken soup.
The difference comes from the type of chicken.
Generally, all hens are chickens, but not the other way around.
In this Hen vs. Chicken soup comparison, you will learn everything about them.
Table of Contents
What is Hen Soup?
Hen soup is known for its rich taste and aroma.
All broth made from older female chickens is called “hen soup.”
Hens are mature chickens that have laid eggs before but can no longer do so.
This is understandable, as they are usually older than ten months.
Despite what you might think, hen soup is not less delicious than young chicken soup.
They can be more delicious when given the right time to cook.
Hen soup requires more time to be fully ready for consumption.
Because of their lean meat, hens are a popular choice for stews and soups.
Despite their age, their meat remains flavorful.
This flavor richness is vital for creating yummy soups.
You can get the best taste from old hens if you allow them to cook for long periods on low heat.
When cooked properly, your hen soup will have a deep golden color.
You can easily see the upper-fat layer that accumulates on top of the boiling pot.
In addition to the flavorful broth, you will receive nutrients with every sip of this soup.
What is Chicken Soup?
Chicken soup is a broad category that contains any chicken that is boiled until its meat falls off.
It includes hen, broiler chicken, and even rooster soups.
However, in this context, chicken soup refers to young broiler chicken.
The age of these chickens usually ranges between two and three months.
This type of chicken is primarily raised for its meat.
Broiler chicken soups can be made from male or female chickens.
So, they are not meant to produce eggs.
As young chickens, their soup cooks faster.
Also, the meat is tender.
However, the soup could be richer, as the chicken contains less fat.
It is bright yellow without a thick fat layer accumulating on the upper surface.
What are the Differences between Hen Soup and Chicken Soup?
At first glance, all chicken soups are the same.
However, they differ greatly in taste, nutritional value, and the meat used.
The difference between a hen and a chicken soup goes beyond the difference between accents.
Here is an overview of these distinctions:
1. Type of chicken
Both soups are made of poultry, particularly chicken.
However, the types of chicken are different.
To make hen soup, you will need old chickens called stew hens.
This type of chicken is at least ten months old or more.
On the other hand, chicken soup contains broth made from any chicken of any age or sex.
However, broiler chicken soup is made of young chicken.
These chickens are not younger than 2 months, but they are not older than 4 months.
If you are yet to taste these soups, they may taste the same.
However, hen soup is richer and tastier when cooked correctly.
The high-fat content in these older chickens melts when boiling the meat and enriches the flavor.
This fatty component isn’t abundant in broiler chicken soup, but this doesn’t mean the soup is not delicious.
Still, it is less flavorful than hen soups.
Hen soup is distinct with its darker yellow color.
Also, it has a thick layer of fat that accumulates on the pot’s surface when left to cool down.
Broiler or fryer chicken soups are lighter and have a thin to no fat layer.
Meat is an integral part of any soup.
You will leave some of the boiled chicken to enjoy with your soup.
The meat in hen soup tends to be darker, especially the thighs.
Also, it is not less juicy than the chicken in broiler soups.
However, a hen’s meat can be leaner and less chewy if simmered for a long period.
Boiled broiler chicken is always juicy and tender in terms of texture.
Also, it is lighter in color.
5. Cooking time
Hen soup takes a lot longer to cook than chicken soup.
The average cooking time ranges between 7 and 8 hours on low heat.
Young chicken soup, on the other hand, can take a maximum of two hours of slow cooking.
If you are not experienced in shopping for soup ingredients, you might be surprised to know the price difference between hens and chicken.
A stewing hen is more expensive than a broiler chicken.
Typically, the weight difference contributes to the price gap.
Additionally, boiling a hen for its soups consumes more gas, for it takes long hours of cooking.
So, overall, a hen soup will cost you more than a broiler chicken.
Hen Soup vs Chicken Soup: are they the same?
Hen soup and Chicken soup are not the same types of chicken broth.
While both are made of chicken, they are not the same kind.
For instance, hen soup is made from older female chickens.
On the other hand, chicken soup can refer to old, young, male, or female chicken soup.
Broiler chicken soup is made from young female chickens, which is the opposite of hen soup.
Hen soup is more expensive to make but richer in taste.
However, you need much more time to get it just right.
So, do not rush your hen soup; otherwise, you will end up with a tasteless broth and rubbery meat.
Chicken soup, on the other hand, is boiled more quickly.
Also, it is cheaper and has tenderer meat.
However, the fatty hen soup is more delicious when you compare both soups.
Yet again, fatty soups are not everyone’s favorite.
So, based on your preferences and cooking experience, you can choose between hen and chicken soups.