Saturday, January 03, 2009

What is a "poularde"

A "poularde" is a fatty chicken that is grown in a particular way to avoid that it reaches sexual maturity. It consists of a young hen which is raised free range for the first part of its life and fed with corn, cereals and milk. Then just before it reaches sexual maturity, it is placed in a cage and maintained in the dark to be fattened for few weeks. In this way, the young hen do not reach sexual maturity, resulting in a very meaty bird (around 1.8Kg), covered of an important layer of fat, with a very tender, moist and milky flesh, but slightly on the bland side. The most famous region of production of poulardes are Le Mans and the Bresse regions of France.
Source: included a recipe on how to cook a poularde

A capon is a rooster (cockerel) whose reproductive organs have been removed at a young age (caponization). Typically, the castration is performed when the chicken is between 6 and 20 weeks old. The benefits to this process are non-aggressive males which produce ample, tender meat when butchered, and as such are a choice poultry meat in some locales.

My comment:
It is hubby's family tradition to have poularde (or capon?) as lunch on Christmas day. My favorite was actually the chestnut my FIL made to go with it. Sincerely, I don't find the meat more tender, moist and milky flesh, but it did have more meat compared to a regular chicken.


  1. Good to cook by urself.

  2. We have the same for Xmas dinner too. I always forgot how it is called so my MIL would say 'it's a chicken but huge like a turkey.' hahaha

  3. I was always wondering why the French don't eat turkey during Christmas? I have seen it so many times in the movies so I thought most of the countries celebrating Christmas will eat turkey on Christmas eve. I was told that turkey doesn't have good meat, is it true?

  4. No, it's delicious as long as you keep it moist during roasting. Rub it all over with butter, cover the breast and legs with bacon rashers and wrap in aluminium foil , only uncovering it for the final 50 minutes of roasting. In this final time, baste frequently. It is also very versatile. Soup with the bones, then curry, pies, croquettes...and oh, the sandwiches! :-) Enjoy!!