Picked up a pesky little cold on the plane, so keeping the cooking simple for now. Simple and tasty. Luckily, mom has so much food in the house that I have yet to even think about going to the store. Yesterday, a package arrived with two frozen Poulet Rouge. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. This is a special breed of chicken that is soooo tasty! The chickens that most Americans are familiar with are Cornish chickens. These birds have been bred to satisfy the demand for more breast meat. The result is an in-bred, weird chicken that behaves in a bizarre manner, including pecking at other chickens, and getting its head stuck sideways for no reason. You can simply snap the head back into alignment and the bird goes about on his merry way. Even most organic, free range, pastured, and otherwise politically correct birds are this breed. Big boobed chickens. While there is nothing showing that these chickens are in any way unhealthy to eat, the in-breeding freaks me out a bit. Yes, I generally eat them anyway because I’m not yet independently wealthy, but sometimes I wonder….
The Poulet Rouge Fermier (which in French, means red chicken) is what our grandmothers knew chicken to be. It is a slow growing Heritage breed with thin skin and an elongated breast. There is a whole Label Rouge program in France certifying them… I won’t go into that here. You can order them online from http://www.joycefoods.com/, or from Amazon. In the SF area, Riverdog farms grows these birds, but they are sometimes hard to find in stores. And they are not cheap. I found one at Avedano’s a while back for $6/pound. At an average of 3lbs, that’s an $18 chicken!
But I digress. We put one of the chickens in the freezer, and set the other in the fridge to defrost for tonight. With some nice roasted potatoes and carrots, we had a delicious dinner in about an hour.
For the chicken:
1 Poulet Rouge Chicken
4 tbsp butter
about 10 sage leaves
- Salt chicken, inside and out.
- Mix room temperature butter and chopped sage. Make a little pocket under the skin and put some of the butter between the breast and the skin. Rub the remaining butter all over the outside of the chicken.
- Cut up lemon and onion and put in cavity. Tie legs closed with kitchen twine.
- Cook at 450 in convection oven for about 15 minutes, then lower heat to 400 till done (about an hour…till temp in the thigh reaches 160).
- Let rest for 5 minutes
- Peel and cut potatoes and carrots. Place in roasting pan. Toss with olive oil, salt, and rosemary.
- Roast the potatoes uncovered for about 45 min to 1 hour. (Just put in oven with the chicken) Stir the potatoes occasionally during the cooking time, cook until crisp, lightly browned and tender.