France’s most pampered chicken turns 50

21-12-2007 | | |

This year the French “poulet de Bresse” is celebrating 50 years of being the most pampered chicken in France and also one of the most expensive in the world.

Making up the French flag, the Queen of Chickens, with its red crest, white feathers and flesh and blue legs display the national colours. Due to strict rules on rearing and breeding, the tender white flesh of the Bresse chicken, capon or poularde fattened hen is appreciated by gastronomes and used by the great chefs.

Soaring prices
A Bresse chicken can cost up to €35 ($50.86) in France and a capon, a castrated cock, can fetch €75, a fortune in comparison to the price of an ordinary chicken that sells for a few euros in supermarkets.

Their production is around one million heads a year and is only a small fraction of all chickens slaughtered in France.

The French consume more than six million chickens in all forms over the December festive season, against 2.5 million turkeys, 1.2 million geese and 10 million quails.

The capon is often cooked as a dish for Christmas dinners in France.

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