What to Eat in France: Poulet de Bresse, or Chicken from Bresse with Cream and Mushrooms
J’ai la chair de poule. / I have goose bumps.
Quand les poules auront des dents. / Literally, “when chickens have teeth,” meaning that will never happen.
Bresse chicken or poulet de Bresse has had an A.O.C. since 1957, which defines the way in which they are raised as well as the geographic zone in which they can be raised.
It is a French breed known as Bresse-Gauloise. The feathers are generally white, and they have a red, crenelated comb. They have blue feet and a white beard. About a million chickens are sent to market every year.
Poulet de Bresse and other poultry from Bresse — including guinea fowl, capon, hen and even turkey — is raised under strictly defined conditions, but it is not organic. They are free range and have a grass-based diet, but also eat worms and mollusks. Final fattening is with cereals and milk products in wooden cages. Bresse poultry cannot be slaughtered under 5 months of age if they are to bear the A.O.C.