Good Eatin’: A £30 Chicken!?

Before I start this write-up there is a small adjustment that is going to be made for my blog lists.

A while ago I added a second 1001 food list which brought up the grand total of  foods to 1866. Despite this I have still mainly been focused on the original list and, to be honest, the list I added was nowhere near as much fun as I had hoped.

I’ve been toying with doing this ever since that time I had carp in Lithuania – but now I have eaten this expensive piece of poultry I will be reverting back to the original 1001 food list only!

Which means….

List Item: Try half of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
Progress: 556/501 – COMPLETEIMG_3434Food item: Volaille De Bresse

This lovely piece of chicken was bought in Borough Market on the same day that I purchased the vatrushka and peaches. I have known for a long time that the good people at The Ginger Pig sold Bressé chickens, but I have never had the luck to find one of these beauties at their stall on a Saturday.

Lo and behold that at 9:30am on July 23rd 2016 (told you I was posting in advance) that they had not one, but three of these birds sat in wait for food-lovers with a bit too much money to burn (I mean hell, payday was on Monday so why not right?). I bring up money as this pictured chicken set me back nearly £30 (at around £17.50 a kilo). Still,  I just HAD to have it… after the head and feet had been removed by the butcher.


The next question was – how do I cook the damned thing. The internet provided me with a sizeable amount of conflicting advice, but I ended up settling on this recipe from Chez Pim. I did not want to fuck up this expensive beauty and, unlike suggestions in other recipes, I had not intention on steaming in the oven.

Before preparing this with my mum I decided to smell the chicken. Usually a chicken from the local supermarket doesn’t smell nice at all… and yet this did. Actually it smelt more like corn than chicken (which makes sense seeing how they are fed on a corn rich diet) and you could see rich and beautiful veins of yellow fat just by casually looking at it.

Anyway, we followed this recipe to the letter and we ended up with this:


The smell of this chicken as it cooked was astonishing (the bulb of garlic stuffed into the crevice and the soy sauce glaze will have helped with that). This was not your archetypal roasting chicken, something that was apparent the moment you try and carve this.

When I say that there was a reservoir of liquid fat between the main body and the drumsticks I do not think I would be understating it. I have never seen anything quite like it when carving into a bird. Needless to say as long as you don’t overcook it you are going to have one moist piece of chicken.

To quote my mum on this (thanks again for helping me with the chicken): it’s chicken like it used to be. Having tried both this and the Jidori chicken my eyes have been opened to what chicken can actually be like. This beautiful piece of roasted chicken.

It’s not just about taste, as the texture is different. It’s firmer which actually makes it feel more like a game bird than something raised on a farm. Whilst I did not like the grouse that decided to bleed all over my kitchen they had a similar toughness (not the right word, but the right word is eluding me right now).

The musculature on this chicken was just interesting to look at. Just the fact that a clear dividing line between white meat and dark meat was visible was completely new to me. This chicken just felt exceptionally raised and looked after and it’s given me pause for future chicken purchases.

Now that I am WAY over the halfway mark… I guess that means I should decide on the next landmark.

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
Progress: 556/751

Yes, this feels right.

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