Saturday, April 9, 2011


I recently grilled some "poussin"  which is a French word meaning young chicken. 
I have previously posted on Cornish game hen and I tried to find out what the difference is between a poussin and a Cornish game hen. I got some mixed answers. The U.S.D.A. defines a Cornish game hen as "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." It appears that a poussin is an extremely young chicken, less than 4 weeks old, of any breed, and generally appears to be smaller than a Cornish game hen. 
They have very little fat, because of the young age, and a very mild flavor. 
Poussin costs about three times as much as Cornish game hens. I rubbed the poussin in sea salt and let them sit about an hour, put on a little olive oil and put them on my outdoor grill over direct heat. 
Because of that, they got a little charred. 
When I cooked my Cornish game hens I cooked them over indirect heat and did not have any charring. The poussin was moist and had a nice flavor, but I prefer the Cornish game hen. They are larger, meatier, moister, have more fat, are easier to find and are less expensive. It was fun to try the poussin, but I'll take the Cornish game hen. 

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