Why is Bresse so good? Discovering the secret behind the world-famous Bresse chicken.

The pasture Bresse chickens are raised on is key to their taste and texture.

The La Bresse Gauloise chickens are France's and possibly the world's best tasting meat chickens.

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But what exactly makes the Bresse chickens and it's meat so special? I have kept a lot of dual purpose and meat chickens for many years, despite the added cost of rearing a specialist chicken like the Bresse.

Why is Bresse chicken so good?

Much of their flavour is due to the unique terrain over which the pullets free-range and forage, as well as the locally-grown feed supplements.

Below: A Bresse chicken prepared for cooking.

The texture and flavour of the Bresse chicken comes from the fine textured fat that this particular breed produces in the meat, the length of time it takes to raise and that it is reared outdoors on natural pasture and handled in a specific way before slaughter.

Bresse vs other meat chickens:

Chicken is a staple food in many households around the world. However, not all chickens are created equal. There is one breed of chicken that stands out above the rest - the Bresse chicken.

Type of meat chickenCharacteristics:
Bresse chicken.
  • Very expensive to raise,
  • Takes months to reach slaughter weight,
  • Has to be kept free range,
  • Requires special feed,
  • Difficult to find and only available in small quantities,
  • Tastes amazing.
Hybrid Broilers.
  • Cheap to rear,
  • Breeds include the Hubbard and the Cornish cross,
  • can be ready in as little as 40 days,
  • Can be kept confined or free range,
  • Consumes standard feed,
  • Readily available in large numbers,
  • Meat tends to be pale and tasteless.
Heritage meat birds.
  • Been selected for hundreds of years to have a heavy meaty carcass,
  • Breeds examples include the Ixworth and the Cornish,
  • Cost more to raise than hybrid broilers,
  • Can be kept free range or confined,
  • Eats standard feed,
  • Ready to slaughter between 70 and 120 days,
  • Smaller numbers on the market,
  • Cost more to buy,
  • Has a darker more tasty meat.
Dual purpose chickens
  • Large chickens that have historically been kept for meat as well as eggs,
  • Breed examples include Barnevelders, Jersey Giants and Wyandottes.
  • Not specifically bred for meat,
  • Can be kept free range or confined,
  • Ready to process from 90 days but better from 120 days,
  • Eats commercially available chicken feed,
  • Can be bought cheap as chicks,
  • Good flavour and darker firmer meat.

What does Bresse chicken taste like?

Breese tastes like a sweeter, richer, gamier and fattier chicken. The meat of the Bresse is firmer in texture but still somewhat tender, the fat in the skin helps keep the bird succulent as it cooks. The fat has a particularly fine texture giving a distinct mouth feel while eating and the meat is aromatic on the plate.

The cooked meat has a fresh grass pasture smell and the fat is yellow. You should not expect it to be anything like an intensively reared supermarket bird.

You would definitely know you were eating chicken. It is normally cooked in a plain way with just a little butter and seasoning to better appreciate the quality of the bird.

Below: Not everyone likes their food to have blue legs.

Bresse chicken, with its unique taste and texture, is considered one of the best meat producing chicken breeds in the world. It is a premium poultry breed that is highly sought after by gourmet chefs and food lovers that want to sample the rich flavor and tender meat. 

When compared to other breeds of chicken, Bresse chicken stands out for several reasons.

  • The unique diet of Bresse chickens gives the meat a distinct flavour,
  • Genetically they have a superior fat marbling and content,
  • They are slaughtered much older giving a firmer texture and better flavoured meat.

Originating from the Bresse region in France, this chicken is known for its exceptional taste and quality. 

Tracing the Roots of a French Delicacy.

Bresse chicken has a long and rich history that dates back to the 16th century.

This breed of chicken was originally raised in the Bresse region of France and was known for its high-quality meat and delicate flavour.

Bresse chicken became so popular that it was granted its own AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) status, which ensures that the chickens are raised and processed according to strict guidelines.

The Secret to Bresse Chicken's Unique Taste and Texture.

The secret behind the exceptional taste and texture of Bresse chicken lies in the way it is reared and processed.

As well as being free ranged, Bresse chickens are raised on a diet of corn, wheat, and milk, which gives the meat a distinctive flavor and tenderness.

The chickens are also raised in spacious and well-ventilated coops, which allows them to move around and develop strong muscles.

The end result is a chicken that has a tender and juicy meat that is packed with flavor.

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