Americans have a love affair with chicken, but conventionally-raised chicken yields unhealthy (both for the chicken and consumers) meat that’s full of water and considerably less flavorful than heritage breeds. Recently, we saw an article in Saveur magazine featuring Joyce Farms’ Poulet Rouge heritage chickens and, being passionate about where our food comes from, we had to give these birds a try!
Owner Ron Joyce was on a quest to find the world’s best chickens and he discovered the Label Rouge system and the Poulet Rouge. “The French labeling system preserves heritage breeds and old world farming and processing methods, including air-chilling, to produce the world’s best meat and poultry,” says Joyce. The changes in modern agriculture over the last 50 years, as well as consumers demand for cheap food, has enabled American companies to produce food in mass quantities, but as we know, quantity does not always equate to quality. Growing animals at a rapid rate diminishes their natural flavor. The chickens (Poulet Rouge, Capon, and Poussin) at Joyce Farms take twice as long to grow as their commercial counterparts and they taste just like nature intended.
The goal of the Joyce Farms’ team is to produce the most naturally raised beef and poultry in America, and the most delicious tasting. They use the same old-fashioned farming methods and heritage breeds that we used decades ago (and that continue to be used in Europe), which we think is best for the animals, best for Mother Earth, and best for our families. Good food simply tastes better.
Try their delicious roasted chicken recipe below, but be sure to check out their website here for other products, including their convenient Collection packages. We love the Heritage Bird Collection ($59.95) where you can sample three varieties of game birds: 1 Poulet Rouge, 1 White Pheasant, 1 Pintade. Fermiere.
Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Heritage Chicken
Recipe from Chef Denis at Joyce Farms
We added our own twist to this dish with the addition of lemon zest. The result was a succulent and juicy bird that tasted just like the ones my Grandpa raised!
One 3.5-4.0# Poulet Rouge Fermier Chicken
4 large cloves Garlic
2 sprigs Rosemary
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
1 tsp White wine
2 oz Unsalted Butter
Optional: lemon zest
Soften butter to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mince the garlic and place in a small mixing bowl.
Mince one sprig of the rosemary and add to the garlic.
Add the softened butter and stir to combine. Season with the salt and black pepper. Add the white wine and incorporate thoroughly. (You can use a small food processor to make this step easier)
Remove the chicken from its packaging, and lightly rinse with cold, clean water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Slide your fingers between the skin and the breast meat to create a pocket on both lobes of the breast. Stuff this space with as much of the Rosemary-Garlic butter as possible. Be careful not to tear the skin.
Place the second Rosemary sprig in the cavity, and if there is still room, add any remaining Rosemary-Garlic Butter.
Tuck the wing tips under the bird and tie the legs together using butchers’ twine to create a tight package (this is called Trussing the bird).
Roast in the oven until minimum internal temperature reaches 165°F, measured in the thickest part of the thigh using a probe thermometer.
Allow the bird to rest for 10 minutes before untying and carving. Serve with Natural Jus.
Editorial disclosure: Foodista received samples of the Joyce Farms chickens for our honest review. We received no other payment for this post.
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