3rd Course: BRESSE CHICKEN WITH MUSTARD AND WHITE WINE
-served with quinoa and fresh vegetables and sprinkled with amaranthOur 3rd course could not have come to be were it not for the GENEROUS donation of these special chickens. Jon of American Bresse, is simply amazing. Go visit him at the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market.
A little history on the bird: Poulet de Bresse are a pure-bred French chicken, unaltered by time. The French lovingly refer to these pure white birds with blue feet and red crowns as the “King Chicken”, and are adamant that this is the way chicken should taste. In the 1890′s there was a bird sickness in France, wanting to save some of these King Chickens, some were sent off to French Canada to be bred. Many year later, Jon the farmer a retired USDA inspector bought some King Chicken chicks. After raising & breeding them here in San Diego County he is finally ready to sell them and share them with the world. Since these birds are no longer bred on French soil they cannot be called Poulet de Bresse, but rather are named American Bresse by Jon. (Just like Champagne isn’t truly Champagne without coming from…Champagne, France.) Supposedly this simple Farm Dinner (put on to raise money for this tiny urban farm), was the first time these gorgeous little American Bresse chickens had ever been served! I was truly honored to handle them.
The Bresse I received were younger and much, much leaner than that of their fully grown counterparts. They cook best in a slow and moist environment. Crockpot OR dutch-oven is best.
Wanting to be able to really taste the meat, I kept the preparation simple, and a little acidic.
This would also work with any young chicken, cornish game hen, or lean bird.
BRESSE CHICKEN WITH MUSTARD AND WHITE WINE served with quinoa and fresh vegetables and sprinkled with amaranth
3-5# Bird, cleaned, guts removed
-Place the bird inside a crockpot breast side down (on high) OR if using a dutchoven heat on med-high add a little light oil with a high smoking point, and sear the breast side of the bird, then pull off heat.
Pour these items in pot with chicken:
1 cup White wine
2 TB red wine vinegar OR lemon juice
1 TB Butter
2 TB Olive Oil
2 cloves of Garlic, smashed and peeled
1 small onion, cut in chunks
3 TB whole grain mustard
1 Bay Leaf (laurel)
1 sprig lemon-verbena and/or Thyme
1 TB Salt
-Cover with a lid, leave the Crockpot on high for 2 hours OR in dutchoven put in a 325F oven for 4 hours
-Reduce heat after respective times, and flip the bird breast side up.
-The skin will not crisp well on a lean small bird as much as a fatty large one so keep this in mind. When the chicken is done, the thigh meat should fall away from the bone effortlessly and should have light-pink to clear liquid running from it. (165F internal)
*We served with a light veggie quinoa and some amarath, extra salt may be added if needed and some of the juice (with aromatics removed should be used to sauce the bird)