Poultry - The Chef's Cooking School


Chicken - is probably the most consumed protein,

certainly in the US. If it can be said that chicken is mass produced, it is. Here we will cover broiler/fryer and roaster.  The average weight is 2.25 to 3.5 lbs. The one pictured here is 3.5 lbs. The broiler/fryer is best cooked as just that. The roaster is 2.5 to 7 -8 lbs and up to 8 months old. the higher fat content make them juicier roasted. Less common chickens are: stewing fowl, they are up to 18 months old and are tougher yet have a lot of flavor. Capon which is a castrated rooster, whichis best roasted, is tender, juicy, and good size breast. Age is 4 - 10 lbs. Chicken is graded A, B, C where A is highest quality, B is less meaty, C is likely to be a skinny turkey.

fryer chicken

Prepared Chicken

roast chicken

Roasted Chicken


Roasted Duck

Duck - 3 to 5 1/2 lbs

usually bought frozen, available fresh late spring through early winter in areas raising ducks. Graded like chicken A, B, C where A is usually in markets, B is less meaty, and C is used commercially. Famous duck dishes, Duck a l'orange, peking duck. To roast a duck, poke tiny holes in the skin, being careful not to pierce through to the meat, remove excess fat around the main cavity. Dishes like listed here have specific preparation methods.

Game Hen - hybrid of Cornish and white rock chickens. They are up to 2.5 lbs. and 4 - 6 weeks old. One bird serves one person, and is best broiled or roasted.  

Squab - domestic pigeon usually one month old, that hasn't flown, because it hasn't flown it is very tender, this can be prepared in the same way you would prepare your favorite chicken dish.

Turkey- range in weight from 8 - 25 lbs. Available fresh but more commonly available frozen. The best yielding weight is 20 - 22 lbs. The breast only is available for retail sale, and makes a nice roast. Graded A, B, C like chicken. Most Commonly Roasted see Roasting Charts, in kitchen essentials.

domestic turkey

Domestic Turkey

wild turkey

Wild Turkey

 Goose - 5 to 18 lbs., graded A, B, C where A is highest quality, B is less meaty, C not generally available in stores. Remove excess fat from around the main cavity of the goose. Poke tiny holes in the skin only being careful not to pierce through to the meat. Where goose is high in fat, fruit as part of the dish or meal makes for a complimentary pairing. Foi gras is the fattened liver of goose or duck.





Quail - cooked to med rare, similar preparation as to duck.

 Free Range Chicken - is a chicken that is allowed more space to grow than a regular chicken which is most consumed. The free range chicken is allowed to Rome outside and is free of common additives in regular chicken. Average 10 - 12 weeks of age & 4 1/2 lbs. A free range chicken is has a fuller purer chicken flavor, and more expensive.

male pheasant

Male Pheasant