Without fail, whenever I make a video on my terrace, it rains! Nonetheless, I think this video is still entertaining – in the same way rubber yellow chicken gags are entertaining. You'll see what I mean if you watch the video. I got the idea from ex-pat blogger Meg of La Blagueur À Paris who asked me if I would do a video on how to section chicken from a whole bird.
I prefer to buy whole chickens for many reasons: they are more sanitary and have had less contact with bacteria from packing facilities, I can make up to 8 servings and cut fancier sections for presentation, it's easy to make chicken stock from the carcass, it costs less per pound, and it takes five minutes extra of my time.
For this recipe the chicken was simply slapped on the grill with a little olive oil, salt & pepper, and some dried thyme. I like barbecue sauces, rubs, and marinades but I don't always think they're necessary if the product is great to begin with. My chicken was exceptional (mais oui, c'est français) and you can tell by the color of the yellow skin that it had a corn diet.
Different regions in France feed their chickens different diets and they are quite proud and protective of their particular poulet product. It is the French emblem afterall – Le Coq!!! France is probably most famous for it's Bresse chicken which is the only poulet in France to have it’s own Appelation Origine Controlée (A.O.C.). This means there are strict laws governing how and where these birds are raised. After thirty-five days exactly, the birds are range fed in a grassy area. This diet is supplemented with cereals and skimmed milk. The last phase of production is completed in ventilated wooden cages that are in a quiet and low-lit location in order to keep the chickens happy and calm.
I chose a yellow corn fed chicken from Landes, France for my recipe because they are hearty in texture (but juicy) and will stand up better to the smoke flavor from the barbecue. I find that chickens from Landes pair nicely with bacon, blue cheese, and other intensely flavored foods. I would never in a million years pair the delicacy of a Bresse chicken with anything so overwhelming in flavor as bacon or the value of the milk diet would be lost – quel horreur! However, poulet de Bresse does pair well with some rich foods including foie gras and truffles.
At the time I filmed this video new potatoes, chanterelle (girolle) mushrooms, and apricots were just hitting the farmer's market stalls in Paris. The grilled vegetable salad with mustard seed vinaigrette was a tribute to what started out as a promising hot summer. Oh well, at least we got a little sun in the beginning of the season! The apricots are simply brushed with a honey-basalmic glaze and grilled for a few minutes each side.
I think this video is pretty funny. I'm a total dork in it, so have a few laughs at my expense....