Friday, 19 June 2009

The Faverolles

Faverolles are named after the village called Faverolles, in the Department of Eure-et-Loir, about midway between the small towns of Houdan, Dreux and Noyent-le-Roi, in a district where poultry-raising is carried on extensively, supplying a large portion of the fowls sold on the Houdan market, one of the most important in France.

Faverolles are such superior table birds that some of the first Faverolles to enter Australia were specially imported by a French chef who raised them to supply top quality chicken for his restaurant.

I like to think of them as the poodles of the chicken world as they have beards, muffs and feathered feet. The Faverolles were used as a utility breed known for their excellent table qualities and superior egg laying during winter months. The French have a dish for which the Faverolles was used exclusively. It is called "Petite Poussin" or "Small Breast." Today they are regarded as a show fowl. They are said to be the Peacock of the poultry world for their contrasting colour between the sexes and the brilliance of colour in the male birds. They make excellent back yard fowl and have a genteel personality. The most common colour is salmon but there are other varieties, including white, black, cuckoo, splash, and blue.

Barbecued Poussin

1 whole or half poussin per person
melted butter for brushing

Sauce

2 oz butter, melted
5 tbsp wine vinegar
bouquet garni
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp onion juice
2 tbsp red wine
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Mix the ingredients for the sauce together. Split the poussins down the back, wash and dry thoroughly. Brush the poussins with the butter and cook on the barbecue until brown. When golden brown start basting them with the sauce and continue until the birds are well cooked. You can reduce the remainder of the sauce and serve apart if you prefer.

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