If you ask me about Pomfret, Connecticut, I could tell you: Rivers Cuomo from Weezer once lived there, the chili at the Vanilla Bean Cafe is really good, and the Rock Cornish Game Hen was invented/originated/first bred/whatever there. Today, after months of anticipation, I can officially say that Pomfret's most famous claim to fame - Rock Cornish Game Hen - is delicious.

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Have you ever had one? I've always passed. It's easy to just buy a hot, store-prepared roaster, and I had also assumed that Cornish Game Hens were baby chickens, or a gamey bird, I was wrong. According to Connecticuthistory.org, the Rock Cornish Game Hen came into existence in Pomfret in 1950 when Jacques and Therese Makowski cross-bred a White Cornish Rooster with a White Plymouth Rock Hen. The Makowskys patented their invention, and by 1956, 55 local farms around Pomfret combined to produce over three million Cornish Game Hen chicks. The Makowskys sold their farm in 1967, and moved to Florida.  That's why in 2024, I bought my Tyson Cornish Game Hen at Big Y in Torrington.

Photo by Large Dave
Photo by Large Dave

I tried over the weekend to find fresh hens, but it's impossible. February is not a good time to try to find an open farm in Connecticut. The good news is you can find frozen hens in most of the better grocery stores, I found mine on sale at the Torrington Big Y. Two Cornish Game Hens - on sale for $10. Cornish Game Hens are processed at 4-6 weeks of age, when they weigh 2.5 pounds. The feelings of eating a juvenile hen affected me during the cooking process, but much like eating veal, disappeared after the first bite. Cornish Game Hen tastes like chicken, because, it is. No trace of game, and oh is it tender. Very easy to prepare, thaw in fridge, liberally salt and pepper, stuff with lemon, thyme, and garlic, roast at 425 til 170 on your meat thermometer.

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