Poulet de Bresse at The Lint Mill

by Colin Richardson-Webb

If The Lint Mill was located in the region of Bresse in France then this new addition to our home-reared produce would come by its appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) name; Poulet de Bresse, however in Scotland these hens will be known simply as Bresse Gauloise.

These birds are renowned for their superior eating qualities and have a reputation as the best quality table chicken, ‘the queen of poultry’. Their characteristic blue slate legs, completely white feathers and single red crest (just like the colours of the French flag) are a familiar sight to any of you who have walked around a French market.

Over recent years we have raised other more commercial and readily available table birds such as the Sasso and Hubbard and whilst we have had success in raising these breeds to a good weight we have been a little disappointed in the overall flavour of these birds.

The traditional way of raising the Bresse is to let them free range for four months on a diet of cereals that is low in protein to encourage foraging then they are ‘finished’ on a two week diet of maize and milk which builds up their muscle and marbles the meat. This last stage is traditionally done in dark sheds (!) but at The Lint Mill we will of course continue to free range our hens, feeding them organic feed (from Hi-Peak Feeds) in accordance with our humane way of rearing livestock.

As with our free-range, organically reared turkeys we are only rearing a limited number of these birds. They will be ready from September to October 2015. We are hoping that the birds will exceed 2 kg in weight (4.5lb) and selling at £15.50 each oven ready. Please contact us to place an order.

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