Madame Caubet’s Chickens
In our village in rural SW France there are a family of farmers. The mother of this family, Mme Caubet, raises a few free range chickens that she occasionally sells. We’re talking the odd one or two a few times a year, so this isn’t exactly intensive production levels.
When the call comes that Mme Caubet has a few chickens ready to be killed we always say yes with alacrity. We literally snap them up. And the reason for this is that they are absolutely amazing.
I don’t know how many days these birds live for compared to commercially raised chickens but these are big – usually two and a half kilos plus in weight. Their skin is thicker than a normal shop-bought chicken, and they are dry-plucked by hand, rendering crispy roasted chicken skin like no other. Their flesh is yellow, buttery and corn-rich.
I am almost hugging myself in anticipation as I have one waiting in the fridge for lunch today.
I always approach a Mme Caubet chicken with due reverence. The legs and thighs will be used for a chicken and chorizo bake, the breasts will be used for a creamy chicken, tarragon and mushroom dinner, and the carcass will render down to a fabulous pot of chicken soup.