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Aug 31, 2012 07:56 AM

poultry (volailles) in the the city area


I have been in the city for close to a decade now and I am always shocked by how mediocre the quality of poultry is here in the US compared to France. I find that unbelievable.

Chicken is eaten literally everywhere here, yet it is so mediocre.

In France it is very easy to buy high quality chicken and other volailles from specialized butcher's. It is not cheap, but that is not really the problem. It is a completely, I mean a completely different culinary experience. The meat is typically quite firm and if the chicken has been allowed to run around and has been well fed, the meat does meat does not come of the bones so easily and the bones are quite white or even yellowish. The taste is completely different also.

I have tried a lot of chicken here and the experience has been invariably mediocre and disappointing. Suprisingly this is also true of the poultry I bought from D'Artagnan (both chicken and guinea fowls, as well as chapon).

What is it that is so bad? Is that the birds are different species than what is available in France? Also, am I the only one noticing this?

My main question is, are you aware of any places in the city where chicken are being sold that approach the quality of french chicken?

Note that I do not really have as bad experiences with others meats and charcuterie. That is comparable to what you will find in France, sometimes better sometimes worse. But poultry,

Thanks for your opinions and help.

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  1. The Belle Rouge chickens from Violet Hill Farm, available at Union Square Greenmarket, are the French breed called Label Rouge in France, from Bresse. This is an excellent chicken, but the price approaches $5 a pound. What I like even better is BoBo Farms, raised in upstate New York, and which I buy at Chung Shing on Catherine St. in Chinatown for $2.50 a pound (head and feet still attached). Don't be put off by the sloppy appearance of the shop (typical of butchers in Chinatown), the chickens are very fresh. It is a Chinese heritage breed and the most delicious chicken I have ever eaten. The breast is smaller and legs larger than American breeds. They run 4 to 5 pounds. I also like Giannone chickens, from Quebec. They are available at Agata and Valentina. All of these compare very favorably with those I have purchased and cooked in France.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rrems

      Thank you very much for your kind reply rrems. I very much appreciate it. I should probably have written before. I periodically search the web for the kind of information you provided, but could never really make much sense of my searches. All of the leads you provide seem very accessible from brooklyn, so I will sure try them all one by one.