Chickens: Broiler, Fryer, Roaster, Stewing, Capon, Caponette - Still Exist?

Watching an old Julia Child on PBS- excellent primer on how to tell the difference between chickens.

I remember this quasi branding by use from when I was a kid, but these days the supermarkets all seem to have “chicken”, without differentiation of use. I do see “roasting chickens” occasionally.

So, the question is: are there still these different types of chicken available in the supermarkets - or are all chickens in the supers just some general use lowest [greatest?] common denominator chicken?

Thanks, Dopers.

Mods–put this wherever you want it (maybe MPS or Cafe–I give up).

Around here, almost all I get are fryers, and I don’t even think they’re labeled as such - I guess I just think of them as fryers because they’re small.

Occasionally I’ll see Roasters. They tend to be larger and fattier.

Around the holidays I’ve sometimes seen Capons, but that’s really rare.

I’m in the middle of Nowhere, Michigan if that makes a difference.

I have to look a little but I’ve seen all of those with the exception of Caponette.

My problem is finding anything that isn’t big enough to be a roaster. I don’t see capons at the grocery store but I’m sure I could order one.

Mostly fryers and small roasters in the grocery store I go to, and they’re not necessarily labeled as such. We’re a couple weeks away from slaughtering our chickens and most of them will be at fryer weight (3.5 to 5 lbs) with just a couple of roasters. Stewers are usually just old hens or roosters. If you want the specialty sizes (capons, caponettes), you’d probably have to go to a specialty meat market unless you live in the country and can get them from your neighbors.

I’m really looking forward to never having to buy grocery store chicken again. The disproportionate sizes of the parts freaks me out.

For those of us that don’t raise our own disproportionate size of which parts?

Commercial chickens are bred to produce a gigantic amount of breast meat, I guess because it sells better because people believe it to be healthier than dark meat. Grocery store chicken breasts (bone-in, not split) are approximately twice the size they were when I was a youngster, while the thighs and legs are the same size or even smaller.

just plain chickens, yup. fryer/stewing bird - small scrawny non-name brand ones, yup. Broiler/roaster are pretty much identical, and as a brand name bird - Oven Stuffer Roaster, yup. Capon at a specialty meat market, otherwise rarely in a regular grocery store around Christmas only. Havent seen a caponette in over a decade.

I’ve never seen or heard of a Caponette (Google tells me it’s a male that’s given FDA approved female hormones to make it like a capon but without the castration.)

Fryers and Broilers (which I believe most states consider the same thing - a chicken under 16 weeks; the choice of term is up to the marketing department) are most common in the supermarkets.

Roasters seem to be mostly cut up for parts, but they’re not labelled as such. I’m merely assuming that a bird with a leg quarter that weighs a pound would be a roaster size/age if whole.

Capons I can find within a few months if I’m looking - that is, they won’t be at the store every time I go, but they will be eventually. They’re pretty expensive, though. Easiest to find around the fall holidays.

Stewers are very difficult to find, and I only see them once or twice a year. I haven’t noticed a correlation to any holidays I’m aware of.

Never heard of a caponette, either, but in the big ol’ chain grocery stores here (Albertson’s, Tom Thumb, Kroger, etc.) you can find capons in the frozen section - usually near the frozen Cornish hens. Never bought or ate one, yet.

“Stewers” are older laying hens that have reached the end of their economically productive life. They’re almost never sold in grocery stores nowadays, they go straight to the food industry for processing into chicken broth and suchlike.

Depends. I find stewers regularly here, but typically only at groceries catering to ethnic tastes. The supermarkets tend not to have stewers.

I was at the little farmer’s market by me today and there were capons available. I bought a couple quarters to see if I perceive any difference - aside from the size (big!). If I like what I bought and there are any whole ones next week, I might go ahead and get one. Same price per pound as the regularly available chicken, but that’s already expensive from the small family farms.