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How to Address a Manly Cornish Game Hen

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Q. I know what a Cornish game "hen" is. What is the proper terminology for the male counterpart?

A. We were going to ignore other possible combinations in the interests of decorum, and suggest "Cornish game tom." But Sarah Birkhold, a professor in the Department of Poultry Science at Texas A&M University, says "hen" is often used as a generic term in the world of poultry, and that the Cornish game hen you might be cooking could just as well be male.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a Rock Cornish game hen or Cornish game hen is, "a young, immature chicken (usually 5 to 6 weeks of age), weighing not more than 2 pounds ready-to-cook weight, which was prepared from a Cornish chicken or the progeny of a Cornish chicken crossed with another breed of chicken."

Dr. Birkhold says among the virtues of the Cornish breed is the capacity to produce a lot of white breast meat (very important in such a small bird) and to grow relatively quickly.

And, by the way, we hope that none of our readers — and certainly not their children — are ever put in the position of having to search the Internet for the combination of "chicken" and "sex," as we were to answer your question! We're still blushing….

Related Article:
Cooking Cornish Game Hens

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