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gruyere

Poulet de Bresse

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Where would you shop for the very best chicken for roasting? I currently go to Boucherie Charcuterie de Tours and look for a free range, biologique alternative. However we know that these terms are bandied about in a manner that does not necessarily instill confidence that the real thing is actually being purchased (this is not in any way a reflection on Boucherie de Tours but anyone who has read The Omnivores' Dilemma will be familiar with my point that organic and other such terms are used without much regulatory obligation to ensure that producers comply with strict adherance to conditions that the terms imply). Do you look for a particular producers bird? Is there any product that you would say is Quebec's Poulet de Bresse? I know that there are very strict French AOC regulations defining the minimum amount of space per bird (10 m2 I believe) etc. and that no such grand bird exists here, but is there a recognized 'best bird' out there?

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I have heard from a few sources that The birds that Giannone produce are of excellent quality, I am pretty sure they are not organic tough if that is one of your criterias. But the chickens produced by Giannone have made it on the menus of a few stateside restaurants and many people rave about them on the boards. Otherwise I would say your best bet would be obtaining your chicken directly from the source there a lot of small producers (many organic) who sell excellent birds, my old chef had found a guy selling the biggest Chapon I had ever seen and the meat was excellent even the frozen birds didn't lose much in flavour in the process. I think this would be the best bet , since you could also verify their claim about Organics and free range(although I believe this is no longer allowed in Québec due to Avian Flu scares). There is a Producer in California who raises chickens (they also have squab and silkies) in the style of Bresse(milk feed) and use genetics derived from the famed bresse chix, Other than this one I think Four story hills farms (purveyors of the French Laundry among others) is the Only other place in North America that produce birds of that Caliber


Edited by cricklewood (log)

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Cricklewood,

Do you know where the Giannone bird is available in Montreal?

TKS

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I would suggest les fermes biologique de charlevoix. The list of their distributors is on site, although I haven't seen them readily at all the places on the list. You should be able to get them readily at either of the organic butchers at JTM or atwater, or at Latina on st. viateur. I haven't tried them myself yet, but I've heard great things about their products. I find the price a little prohibitive though, at 25-30$ for a whole chicken. Second to that I've had luck with les fermes voltigeurs, whose chicken are grain fred and air dried, and I think pretty good.

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I wrote a story last year about chicken, and I roasted most every bird available on the market (I didn't get hold of a La Crepuscule chicken that wasn't frozen, so that's a regret).

I hate to tell you this, but the chicken that won for flavour and texture was the Exceldor (sp?) bird, which costs what? $15? The O'Grain bird was also excellent. But the Charlevoix chicken did not justify its high price, IMO.

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As a sidebar to this question: does anybody in montreal do a great chicken dish? Especially at any of the nicer and better restaurants in town? A great version of the classic bistro dish poulet frites perhaps? Or what have you?

I know i risk being laughed at for asking such a question...

But thought it was worth a shot!

:rolleyes:


Edited by Tom G (log)

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Lesley: Thanks for that, good to know. As I said, I haven't actually sampled the charlevoix chicken, and was only guessing based on reputation. I am actually happy to hear that exceldor is better; I am pretty sure this is the one I buy (usually for 6$/kilo). This way I don't have to worry about "not having the best chicken" and convincing myself to shell out that extra buck. It is a bit sad to hear that though, I would happily shell out 30$ for special occasions if it was a level above.

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Based on their website, the Exceldor chicken looks like a factory chicken to me. When they are proud of their processing speed that is not a good thing! Maybe it's tastier because it's fat?

I don't think there is an heirloom chicken producer in Quebec yet, but supply is growing in the USA, so hopefully someone will catch on that trend here soon.

Try one of the mixed farms affiliated with Equiterre, such as the aforementioned Crepuscule or Charlevoix.

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Oh yeah, it's a factory chicken. Trust me, I'm not happy to endorse a factory chicken. All I'm saying is that it was pretty good. AND it's the only chicken that REALLY tastes great when I roast it on my turnspit.

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In my opinion, the best tasting chicken available is from a local producer in the outaouais region, from the Ferme aux Saveurs des monts. They might have escaped Lesley's tasting. They are a bit more expensive but not overly so.

Their website: www.saveursdesmonts.ca


Edited by francois (log)

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Thanks for the heads up Franois. Do you know if they is anywhere one can get Ferme aux Saveurs chickens in Montreal? I looked at the list of producers on the site, but I couldn't find any that weren't in or around Gatineau.

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Thanks for the heads up Franois. Do you know if they is anywhere one can get Ferme aux Saveurs chickens in Montreal? I looked at the list of producers on the site, but I couldn't find any that weren't in or around Gatineau.

Not as far as I know, but I would suggest that you do give them a call. They are very pleasant people.

A few years ago, I used to go directly to the farm, but their chickens are now available in a few supermarkets near where I live. Montreal is not that far away. Maybe you could have a talk with the butcher where you usually go...

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