Chicken Comes to Retail in Many Forms with Various Names.
Whole Chicken
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There are many different forms of Whole Chicken, you can find at local markets. The information below will help make sense of the different types of Whole Chicken and tips on cooking Whole Chickens.

Culinary Uses

Packaged Female Chicken Forms

Pullets: are young female chickens that have never laid eggs. Pullets will weigh 3-5 pounds (1-2 kg) and are best used for Roasting.

Hens: are female chickens that have laid eggs. Hens weigh between 3-5 pounds (1-2 kg). They are best used for Roasting and Soups.

Fowlare larger female chickens that have laid eggs. Fowl weigh between 5-7 pounds (2-3 kg). They are mostly preferred for Soups.

Packaged Male Chicken Forms:

CaponsCapons are castrated male chickens. They are fed a high calorie diet and will weigh 8-12 pounds (4-5 kg). Capons are usually cooked by Roasting.

Roosters: Roosters are the select young males kept on the farm and used for reproduction. If you see product in the store labeled “Cock,” “Coq,” or “Rooster,” it is an older bird that has fulfilled his obligations and is past his prime and because he is older is likely to be rather tough. Tough old Roosters are best used in Soups or to make Stock or Broth.

Chickens of both sexes can also be classified in ways that describe their age, size and tenderness. Some of the Chicken classification names you may find in the grocery meat case include:

Poussin: Very small immature Chickens (about 1 month old), with delicate, moist meat. Poussin are most often sold whole as individual serving portions.

Broilersare young males or females about 9 weeks old. They weigh 1.5-2.5 pounds (680 g-1 kg). Broilers (NAMP # P1000) are an obvious choice for Breaking Down into parts and for Broiling.

Fryersare male or female Chickens about 12 weeks old. They weigh between 2.5-3.5 pounds (1-1.5 kg) and are preferred for Pan Frying or Deep Frying. Fryers are typically Broken Down before they are cooked. Within the food industry, the names Broiler and Fryer are commonly used interchangeably.

Roasters: are young males or females that are 3 to 5 months old and weigh 3.5 to 5 pounds (1.6 to 2.3 kg). Roasters (NAMP # P1100) are marketed as being especially suited to Roasting.