When we think “poultry” we think chicken, right? Maybe twice a year we talk turkey, and if we’re at a restaurant, we may detect duck on the menu. Indeed, other parts of the world eat different kinds of poultry than we are used to in North America. And for good reason. There are many kinds that are lean, easy to prepare and flavorful. We thought we’d do a run-down of the other birds in the poultry family—all of which are worth crossing the road for.


According to the interwebs, goose is turning up at Christmas dinners more often lately. It’s a gamier, richer flavor experience than turkey, owing to the thick store of fat under the skin. Its meat is dark, with a taste more comparable to beef than chicken. Why not try Gordon’s Christmas roast goose next year? It’s quite simple and probably delicious.

Cornish game hen

You might have seen this one on a wedding menu. It tends to be relatively small, weighing around 2 pounds, and young, around 5 weeks old, compared to the typical broiler chicken, which is usually closer to seven or eight weeks old. Game hen tends to roast well and be quite flavorful. Here’s a recipe for broiled Cornish hens with lemon and balsamic vinegar. Only six ingredients.


Quail is a small bird with a long history as a dish in the Middle East and Europe. It’s apparently quite easy to cook with a great deal of flavor, whether you broil, sauté or grill it. Try out this simple recipe for quali with honey, cumin and orange juice and let us know how it goes.


Grouse are very small game birds common in the United Kingdom. (Game birds are those that are hunted in the wild, as opposed to those that are farmed, like chicken.) It’s another type of poultry with richly flavored dark meat. Grouse hunting season starts August 12—also known as the Glorious Twelfth. Restaurants in the UK prepare grouse dishes for many weeks thereafter. Check this classic grouse recipe.

Guinea fowl

Another small bird (one bird can generally serve two people), though this one has a more delicate flavor than grouse. It used to be hunted in the wild, but now is farmed fairly extensively and available all year round. Here’s a straightforward recipe for Guinea fowl with mustard and lemon roots.


Pheasant is a game bird that can also be farm-raised. It has lean, pink-white meat that has been described as slightly richer and gamier than chicken. Try roast pheasant with lemon and rosemary.

What’s your favorite type of poultry? Share in the comments below!

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