January 17, 2009

Cornish Hens - Not so Gamey

Last week, America's Test Kitchen happened to have an episode on butterflied, grilled Cornish Game Hens while Grocery Outlet was selling piles of them for $2.49 each.  So we bought four, and hosted a fabulous dinner.

Not longer after, of course, we became curious about their lives.  A small bit of digging revealed that the Cornish hens are simply a cross between two popular broilers, typically factory-farmed in large chicken houses for 5 - 6 weeks before slaughter.  The word Game is just thrown in, connoting a wild outdoor life these birds have never seen.

Nonetheless, they were terribly tasty (mainly due to Basha's skill and a good recipe).  But should you see them someplace spendy (like Whole Foods, which markets them at $8.49 a pound as "poussin"), you might as well buy a small free-range broiler.  It may have a more complex flavor, from its more diverse feed and forage, will be antibiotic free, and will actually cost less.  Who knew?  Now we do. 

1 comment:

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