Poulet de Bresse: The Superior Chicken


'The Queen of Chickens and the Chicken of Kings'

The poulet de Bresse or Bresse chicken is claimed to be one of the world's most expensive chickens. Commanding 24,50 euros a kilo in a Parisien butcher at the time of writing, it's three times more expensive than a "Label Rouge" certified free range chicken (which is a good quality reference) at 8,75 euros per kilo.

Or, if you want to dine out on the queen of chickens, you could always book a table for two in the French capital where Le Bristol Paris', three-starred Epicure restaurant has Bresse farm hen on the a la carte menu for 290 euros.

So, why does this regal chicken command such high prices?

What is the Poulet de Bresse?

These special fowl are raised in the Bresse area of the Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France under strict conditions as defined by their AOC certification. A privilege that is usually reserved for dried food, this is the first such accolade given to live animal.

Only 5% of volaille de Bresse are exported from the country, which makes finding them on the menu quite a special, if expensive occasion.

Find out all about Bresse Chicken in the video below, from how they are reared and their special diet, to how the fat marbling of the flesh is achieved.

What does Poulet de Bresse taste like?

With a rich, tender and juicy flesh the prized flesh is likened to the kobe beef of poultry. It's all thanks to their unique heritage, terroir and carefully curated rearing techniques.

Chefs cook Poulet de Bresse

The poulet de bresse is wonderful simply roasted. Although chefs have worked their magic on the unique flesh turning it into some wonderul recipes.

Team US took gold at Bocuse D'Or with their dish of Bresse chicken stuffed with morel sausage, foie gras and crawfish .

Chef David Martin likes Bresse chicken, marinated in shio koji (a fermented mix of fungal rice, sea salt and water), grilled in a wood–fired oven at nearly 350 degrees Celsius. It gives it a crisp tenderness – "ah, it’s amazing" he gushes.