Thursday, 17 March 2011

129. Porcs volants

17th March 2011. Need a laugh this morning? Look no further!
"A survey of British consumers has revealed the ignorance of many people when it comes to butcher's shops, once a part of people's weekly or even daily shop. Not only did some think pig wings existed, nearly two in ten thought tofu ribs were a cut of meat, and a leg of liver was something you could buy. As many as 23 per cent thought a chicken chop or a lamb drumstick was a product they could pick up in a supermarket or a butcher's shop."

And an article to tickle your taste buds.. Did this penultimate paragraph make your mouth water - or is it just me?
"I find it extraordinary that chicken has become a cheap filler on our plates – they were once regarded as a luxury and rarely eaten until fully grown. There is still a culture of eating large birds in France. I have to admit – sheepishly – to making a recent pilgrimage to Lyon to eat the famous Volaille de Bresse Demi-Deuil (138 euros serving two). This is the dish made famous by the late “Mère” Eugenie Brazier at her eponymous restaurant in the city. Black truffles are slipped under the skin; the whole bird is wrapped in muslin (or sometimes cooked in a pig’s bladder), then poached. The breast meat is served first with a cream sauce made with the stock, then the legs are taken away to be roasted and served as the second course."
Madame and I have promised ourselves a Poulet de Bresse one of these days. We much prefer poultry to red meat and a good free range chicken is worth every penny. I don't know what a Poulet de Bresse would cost but I think it would be worth it. These birds are the Rolls-Royce of the chicken world and have had an "Appellation d’origine contrôlée" (AOC) designation since 1957. One of the reasons for their fame - apart from the taste - is that they're red, white and blue: a single red crest, with red wattles; white feathers including the hackles and fine blue feet.
I must admit to watching the process of raising the chickens with mixed feelings (urban guilt and a shot of hypocrisy). I think it's a straightforward commercial operation for the farmers and sentiment has no place in the equation for them. I wasn't struck on the recipes at the end either - Madame would do much better.

I forgot to mention that, France being France, where there's a food delicacy, a Confrérie won't be too far behind! As you'll see from this clip, chicken is a serious business in France. As for the judges - as the saying goes, it's a tough job but someone has to do it..
Pencil 10th July 2011 into your diary - there's a Fête du Poulet de Bresse at St Nizier le Bouchoux (map here) where you could eat a poulet de Bresse roasted over a wood fire.

Here's today's free bonus offer! This is one of the best recipes ever for chicken.. Roast chicken with 40 (recipes in English) - 40 (recettes en Français) cloves of garlic. Madame's made it a few times. When the chicken emerges from the oven, because the garlic hasn't been cut, it doesn't have that familiar pungency that causes many Anglo-Saxons to recoil. In France, the chicken is served with a few slices of unbuttered toast on the side. If you take a clove of garlic and squeeze it flat from one end, the garlic comes out like cream which you then spread on your toast. If you are slightly paranoid about garlic, make it for a Friday evening, then you'll have the whole of the weekend to purge yourself! 

I'm reminded that the Poulet Landais is just as good as the Poulet de Bresse.. I must admit that the best chicken I've ever eaten was a free range bird from Les Landes. I'm happy to set the record straight! 

Bon app!


Lesley said...

Thanks for the mouthwatering suggestion, I regret that it is a bit too far to go for even one super meal. BTW, the map was a help. I like to see how many times that I have to 'enlarge' to find a town that I have heard of. This time I placed it in two clics when Macon appeared!

Pipérade said...

It's way too far for us as well otherwise we'd be there. One of these days though..!