Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cornish Game Hen

So the wealth of information available on the internet once again destroys my illusions and slays another mythological creature. The Cornish Game Hen, here made and packaged by Tyson and available in major supermarkets, is simply just a complicated name for a young chicken. They are not game, they are nothing but a small chicken, slaughtered before reaching full maturity. USDA regulations simply require that any chicken being sold as the mythological Cornish Game Hen weigh less than 2 pounds and be no more than 5 to 6 weeks old at time of slaughter.

Regardless, the novelty of finding what is often presented as an extravagant food item on clearance was too much for me to resist.

raw game hen

There isn't a lot to say about this one. It is a small chicken. Quickly gathering some recipes from the internet, I chose a quick and easy preparation consisting of butter, salt, and pepper. The diminutive size meant a shorter cooking time and a juicier end-product.

One can't even make the joke that it tastes like chicken because it is chicken. I found nothing different in the flavor to distinguish it from the mature variety and the only distinction was a softer texture which is probably due to the fact that it doesn't take as long to cook.

game hen cooked

So if you want to pretend you're posh and impress others, you can probably pick one of these up for a decent price right now. Otherwise, if you want to be more cost effective or try something strange, I'd suggest turkey; they're huge and look a lot weirder.

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