Food finds: Joyce Foods’ Poulet Rouge Fermier du Piedmont

posted on December 8, 2010 at 8:50 am

Like most food-obsessed folks, my friends and I often find ourselves having the death row meal conversation. You know, that intensely serious debate where you absolutely must choose what your final meal would be. My answer inevitably has one component: a perfectly crispy roasted chicken. Yes, a humble roast chicken, the culinary holy grail for almost any home cook or professional chef. There’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into that salty, crackly skin followed by the juicy meat beneath. Any chicken-roasting endeavor begins, of course, with a quality bird. I’ve tried a lot, but Joyce Foods’ Poulet Rouge Fermier du Piedmont remains one of my favorites.You might be weirded out by their scrawny appearance, but there’s a lot of flavor packed into these tiny chickens, each averaging only about 3 pounds to 3-and-a-half pounds. The skin is thinner and more translucent, which means you get a crisper crust than with beefed-up commercial birds. The meat is slightly firmer since the chickens aren’t sedentary and have plenty of room to roam outside. The flavor? The chicken actually tastes like chicken — not some watered down version of what chicken should taste like — with a hint of game. And the secret to Joyce’s success comes from France.

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Bonus: What would your “death row” meal be?

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