Bresses are considered the most delicious chicken in the whole wide world (hence the nickname “Queen of Chickens”). They are mainly raised for meat, but also produce an good amount of medium cream colored eggs as well. However, it’s their tastebud-exploding meat that has been sought after for centuries. With light, thin, skin and firm yet luxurious meat, it is said that the flavor is nothing like the commercially raised poultry from the local grocery store. It’s the chicken of kings, queens, royalty, and anyone who is willing to spend a little more to try this uniquely flavored chicken.
The Bresse has a genetic lineage that allows them to metabolize their food in a unique way which helps to create a different flavor as well as meat, and fat, growth pattern. Additionally, the meat-to-bone ratio is vastly different from traditional meat chickens because their bones are quite thin and dainty.
In France, the production of the Bresse is under tight wraps, literally. These birds are so respected that they are wrapped, with extreme care, in a special cloth after having been processed and plucked, while their head remains intact, protruding from the bag. This special bag also serves as a way to preserve the meat as well as to put pressure on the fat so that it distributes itself more evenly.
The Bresse is produced in a small region of France (the province of Bresse), where about a million birds are raised. In the grand scheme of things, this is a very small amount of chickens, and there aren’t a lot of extra birds to go around. And in order to do so, they must follow strict guidelines on how to do it right. Certifications are provided to farmers who pass these regulations so those who are willing to spend the money on the expensive meat know that it is genuine Bresse-raised Bresse.
The standards that are maintained for this breed are strict, and they are in place to keep this special gourmet chicken as unique and respected as possible. If you are a foody and love chicken, then add the Bresse to your bucket list. A bird that was raised for royalty is bound to be a sensational experience.
We in America can not call them Bresse by law, so we call them American Bresse and at Num Num Farms, do our best to adhere to traditional methods of raising out these yummy, beautiful birds! If interested in ordering some for your dinner table or perhaps starting your own flock, let us know!