The term fowl is used generally to refer to any edible mature wild or domestic bird. Specifically, a fowl (also called hen or stewing chicken) is a female chicken more than 10 months old and usually weighing three to six pounds. Because of its age, a fowl is best when cooked with moist heat, as in braising.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.