Cornish game hen

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A Cornish game hen ready for the oven
Baked Cornish game hen with vegetables
A roasted Cornish game hen

Cornish game hen (also Rock Cornish game hen) is the USDA-approved name for variety of broiler chicken, produced from a cross between the Cornish and White Plymouth Rock chicken breeds, that is served young and immature, weighing no more than two pounds (900 g) ready to cook.[1][2]

Despite the name, the Cornish game hen is not a game bird and can be either male or female. Bred to develop a large breast over a short period of time,[2] the fowl weighs roughly 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilograms) when slaughtered at four to six weeks of age[2] and typically commands a higher price per pound than mature chicken.[citation needed]


The Saturday Evening Post credits Alphonsine "Therese" and Jacques Makowsky of Connecticut with developing the small fowl in the mid-1950s.[citation needed] The couple crossbred Cornish game cocks with other varieties of chicken and game bird, including the White Plymouth Rock hen and the Malayan fighting cock, to produce a succulent bird suitable for a single serving.[3] The musician and comedian Victor Borge was an early investor in and promoter of the concept,[4] leveraging his personal popularity to transform the dish from an exotic menu item into a common household meal.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "70.201 Chickens". United States Classes, Standards, and Grades for Poultry AMS 70.200 et seq. Effective September 5, 2002 (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture. p. 3.
  2. ^ a b c "What is a Cornish Hen?" Accessed July 2011.
  3. ^ Doyle, Jim (December 1, 2005). "Te Makowsky - original breeder of the Rock Cornish game hen". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  4. ^ Palmer-Skok, Virginia (2013). "The Danish Clown Prince". Legendary Locals of Southbury. Arcadia Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 9781467100687.

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