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What can I do with an "Indian" chicken (other than soup)?

  • r

I went to a well-known local poultry shop yesterday in a hurry, and asked which chicken I should buy to make soup. They suggested an "Indian" chicken, and for some reason, I thought I'd be getting a very small bird - because I have a lot of soup to make, I bought two.

It turns out that the birds are really large, and one will clearly be enough for my recipe.I don't have the time or space to double my recipe. I'd like to save the second chicken and prepare it in some other manner that is hopefully less time consuming than chicken soup, in terms of the preparation (when I do chicken soup, I cut up lots and lots of vegetables).

-Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


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  1. What is an "Indian" Chicken?

    1. Also not sure what you mean by "Indian" chicken, but if it has the usual Indian spices, chop and use it for Indian "fajitas," using naan.

      1. Is it a whole, raw but seasoned or marinaded chicken that you planned on boiling or roasting for soup?

        I love indian butter chicken and of course there is tandoori chicken which is a classic Indian dish. However with out knowing what makes your chicken "indian" I hesitate to suggest any other recipes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodieX2

          It sounds like it is a type (variety) of Chicken or a Synonym for a Older or Stewing Chicken.
          Of course if Roz never follows up we will never know.

        2. Just a guess, but the Cornish Game chicken is also called an Indian Game chicken.

          3 Replies
          1. re: HeBrew

            But the OP said "It turns out that the birds are really large"
            Cornish Game Hens are small.

            1. re: chefj

              I'm just going off of info from basic web search, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Game. They list the following weights:
              Cock: 3.86 kg or 8.5 lbs
              Hen: 2.57 kg or 5.7 lbs
              Cockerel: >1 kg or >2.2 lbs
              Pullet: >1 kg or >2.2 lbs

              The U.S. version of a Cornish game hen is an immature bird that weighs less than 2 pounds. So if the OP picked up a pair of mature birds, yes, they would be rather large.

              1. re: HeBrew

                Sounds like you solved what Roz is talking about.
                I did not know that the Game Hens we get here in the U.S. where Babies, Thanks for the info.
                So I would think Roz has a Stewing/Stock Bird.
                It would make a great Coq au vin, Chicken and Dumplings or a long cooked Curry.

          2. I'm guessing the OP is talking about a Silkie.

            If so, soup or stock are really the only options.

            1 Reply
            1. thanks all for your replies!

              I did some more Web research on this. First, the reference by the poultry shop to "Indian chicken" was not a culinary or ethnic reference to how the chicken should be prepared - it was clearly a reference to the type or variety of chicken. As I did my Web research on this, as HeBrew says, there is a variety of chicken called an "Indian Game Hen" that is bred for being very meaty, so as chefj says it's likely they make good stewing chickens. I can't tell yet how the quality of the meat compares to a chicken you'd use for broiling or frying, but these birds were big.

              So here's what's causing the confusion. In the UK, the Indian Game Hen is a breed that originated in Cornwall, and is also known as a "Cornish" chicken. It appears to be the mature version of "Rock Cornish Game Hen" or "Cornish Game Hen" that we refer to in the United States. According to the USDA, the Rock Cornish game hen or Cornish game hen is "a young immature chicken (less than five weeks of age), weighing not more than two 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.

              So it could be that the Brits tend to refer to Cornish game hens as the big mature birds, while we tend to refer to their immature relatives that were all the rage I don't how many years ago.

              thanks again to all - I ended up using both birds for the soup, it turned out great, and if I ever find myself in the situation again, I'll look for some easy chicken stew recipes. And next time I'm at the poultry store, I may take a photo of the chicken.

              again, thanks all!

              3 Replies
              1. re: roz

                You're welcome Roz. I had a pair of big birds like that and I threw them on the bbq. It took a couple of hours to cook them but when they were done we were in chicken heaven. Try that when you have the time.

                1. re: roz

                  They are actually usually referred to as poussin in the UK, and they are tiny. According to Wikipedia, US Rock Cornish game hens are bigger than British ones. I've never seen them referred to as game hens in British recipes, which is not to say the term is never used, of course ;). A big poussin is just a chicken, as far as I know


                2. What is an Indian chicken? Not Quebec, perhaps? The French word for turkey is dinde, which derives from d'inde, or "from India". Could these very large chickens be turkeys?

                  1 Reply