Un poulet de Bresse en liberté dans le bocage bressan - Office de Tourisme Bourg-en-Bresse destinationsUn poulet de Bresse en liberté dans le bocage bressan - Office de Tourisme Bourg-en-Bresse destinations
©Poulet de Bresse AOP dans le bocage bressan. Ain.|B. MUSSOTE CIVB

Find out all about Bresse poultry

Why is Bresse poultry so special ?

You’re probably wondering.
Here are some answers for food lovers and those who are just curious.

Appellation of excellence: cock-a-doodle-doo !

You might already know that it is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin, European label awarded in 1996). Before that, President René Coty had already given Bresse poultry a name for itself in 1957 by awarding it with the French version of the PDO, the AOC (Controlled Designation of Origin, a French national label). Just like the great French wines, Bresse poultry is recognised as being a unique product of excellence.

Bresse Plain,
a gourmet terroir

Bresse chickens have a unique appearance and taste.

If our favourite chickens were sent to another country, they wouldn’t be called ‘Bresse’ anymore. Bresse chickens can only be bred in a specific geographically defined area: a vast sedimentary plain with siliceous-clay soil. The top layer of soil is impermeable, meaning that the layers below are always humid and provide our chickens with lush grass, worms, insects and molluscs. This constitutes a third of a Bresse chicken’s diet.

Bresse knows that to create good products, it takes time !

The Bresse chicken originates from an ancient Gallic breed.

Today, breeders of Bresse poultry choose either the classic Gallic variety, or the variety known as ‘pale comb’. The secret of this breed is very slow growth.
Bresse knows that to create good products, it takes time !

Blue, White and Red are our colours

Blue for the steel-blue feet,
White for the immaculate feathers,
Red for the bright red and jagged single comb, the wattles and the ear lobes are white and speckled with red.

To make sure you don’t mistake them, these chickens have a ring on their left foot featuring the breeder’s name. They have a blue, white and red seal at the bottom of their neck and a blue, white and red label on their back, colours inspired by the French flag.

‘Bresse Chicken’ is a generic term which refers to both the males and females.
The other types should however be differentiated.
A ‘poularde’ is a female that hasn’t yet laid any eggs, or very few,
and the ‘chapon’ is a castrated cockerel.

Breeding and feeding : an art in its own right

Breeding Bresse chickens is all about hard work, love for the region, and producing great products. We are sure that Vincent Guillermin, a breeder in Courmangoux will confirm that for us!

The Bresse chicken is a lively breed and needs to move. Its motto would be ‘I need to be free’!

The chicken is free to roam and feed on vast grassy areas, with at least 10 m2 per chicken. In the chicken coop, they are given the rest of their diet, which happens to be quite tasty: 95% cereals, especially good quality corn produced in Bresse and free from GMOs, and milk. The chicken is pampered for 4 months. 5 months for a ‘poularde’ and 8 months for a ‘chapon’.

Resting time

Just like with every luxury product, the finishing touches are paramount !

After getting an immaculate manicure, our chickens are put into a comfortable fattening coop, a wooden cage designed especially for these chickens by the breeder. The chickens can rest here and slowly fatten up. This resting period is an average of 10 days per chicken, at least 3 weeks for a ‘poularde’ and 1 month for a ‘chapon’.

Beauties laced into a corset

Between the 15th December and the 15th January, Bresse chickens are wrapped and trussed before being sold. After slaughter, they are wrapped tightly in linen cloth. This sort of corset is stitched on and firmly attached.  This ancient tradition, originally for the purpose of preservation and transport, is still carried out today, not necessarily to carry on the tradition, but because it has an influence on the taste and texture of the meat. The fat is distributed evenly around the body and produces meat that is both tender and tasty.

Bresse poultry is not dry, everyone knows that !

And... Action!

Élevage Volaille de Bresse
Élevage Volaille de Bresse
Élevage Volaille de Bresse

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