What’s in a (Chicken) Name?
Pullet: A young hen, less than a year old.
Cockerel: A young rooster, less than a year old.
Cornish Game Hens / Cornish Rock Hens: Pullets of the Cornish or Cornish-Rock cross breeds which are butchered very young, at around 2 pounds. Usually roasted and served as a single portion.
Poussin: French for a very young, small chicken—usually only 4 to 6 weeks old and weighing about 11⁄2 pounds. Poussins are nice split and roasted; because of the small size, each bird is a single serving.
Capon: A rooster that has been castrated when quite young (usually before 8 weeks), fed a fattening diet and processed for market before 10 months old. Larger in size, 4–10 pounds, and well suited to roasting.
Source: The New Food Lover’s Companion, Second edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.
This article originally appeared in our Spring 2012 issue.