If you think fried chicken from a fast-food joint is the height of deliciousness, you need to reset your palate with the taste of a heritage brand chicken, most notably, the poulet rouge bird. The next time you have a special occasion, leave the generic chicken at the store and grace your table with one of its exquisite cousins.
The poulet rouge bird was first bred to meet the standard of France's Label Rouge, a designation given to products that meet the highest quality and taste levels. To earn the honor, the chickens must be raised to meet some very strict standards. Certifying organizations inspect the flocks once a year and test for bacteria. In addition, taste tests are held five times a year. Many producers go far beyond basic standards and eliminate pesticides where the birds range and also separate them into smaller flocks so that they are better able to thrive. They are fed all grain and given plenty of room to roam, so they remain healthy. They also are not given growth stimulants or other medications, which makes them better for you and your family.
Because these chickens are slow-growing, taking almost twice as much time to mature as other chickens, they produce a better tasting meat that is much juicier. Physically, they have smaller breasts and larger legs, which means they have more savory dark meat than white.
The popularity of these chickens has grown in the United States in recent years, making them available for purchase through specialty food shops and even online. The cost for a true poulet rouge chicken is more than twice that of the mass-produced bird in the local supermarket, but the price reflects the taste and quality of the chicken. When you eat these birds, you are not ingesting any harmful drugs or additives. Plus, you can feel secure that they were raised in a humane manner. Once you have tasted these naturally-raised, incredibly juicy birds, you will never want another mass-produced chicken leg again.
Like most Americans, you have been eating chickens that were raised in the most efficient manner possible, which means they were not allowed to exercise. They were likely injected with multiple medicines and hormones as well. As a result, when you bite into their mostly white meat, you encounter a bland flavor. It is no wonder then that you fry your chickens or disguise their taste in any way possible. A poulet rouge chicken needs no outside help to be delicious. Trying this meat just once will put you off generic chicken for the rest of your life.