The Bresse poultry is a unique species, in France, in Europe, and throughout the world. Like the great wines, it has had a controlled designation of origin since 1957. It is raised in the open air, and at Christmas it becomes an exceptional product that has nothing to do with an industrial chicken.
Joris Deville runs the Sardières school farm which raises poultry in Bresse.
“Each hen needs 10 square meters of field and they feed on wheat, corn and dairy products.”
The Bresse region spans three departments, Ain, Saône et Loire and Jura, not far from Lyon, in France or Geneva, in Switzerland. More than 800,000 poultry are produced here a year. Bourg-en-Bresse is the capital of the region.
Bourg-en-Bresse, the capital of the most French poularde
Here at the farmers market we meet Joris. The Bresse poulard is the star product of chef Georges Blanc, whose three-star Michelin restaurant is just a few kilometers away.
“Blue legs, red crest and white feathers … The colors of France! It is an extraordinary pularde”, jokes Georges Blanc, chef with three Michelin stars in Vonnas.
Last March, some 30,000 poultry were distributed by local communities, which exceptionally served this delicacy in school canteens.
Now, just before Christmas, almost the entire production has been sold, to customers looking for this type of locally produced bird. A trend that emerged strongly during the health crisis.
Foods in plastic bags by COVID-19
The best restaurants used to buy more than a third of the production, although now that they are closed, they have had to adapt to the restrictions of the pandemic.
“We are more used to making a nice package, whereas now we present it in little plastic trays to take away … And our job is something else, it is very different.” explains the owner of the restaurant “Charmes de Bresse”.
A refined product on a white linen cloth
The chicken from Bresse is sold wrapped in a linen cloth. This is what tradition dictates since 1862.
“The advantage is that the bird matures, and it becomes like a great wine, you have to let it mature”, explains Eric Déroche, producer of poultry.
No more than six diners this rare Christmas
“The breeders ensure that this product responds exactly to the recommendations of the French Government of no more than six diners at Christmas dinner.”
Laurence Alexandrowicz, desde Bourg-en-Bresse, para Euronews