Tuesday 6 March 2012

Bleu, blanc et rouge

When France played England at Twickenham in the 90s, French fans would release Bresse Gauloise cockerels in the French national colours on to the pitch (bleu, blanc et rouge). It must have been a tough journey across the Channel under someone's overcoat or in a sports bag just to be thrown on to a rugby field. Three new BG cockerels arrived last week from Suffolk in great comfort, with food, water and rest stops. They were bred here but my neighbour's grandson Ben took home 12 hatching eggs at the end of his holiday and hatched four cockerels and four pullets. The cockerels will be mated with the pullets hatched last month. Two of the three are magnificent but number three may well end up as Coq au Vin, we'll see.

The legs are the blue bit

In the meantime the four french hens and their cockerel are turning out four eggs a day that are selling well on Ebay.

Parents of the three teenagers above
There are now five cockerels and two cocks out in the hay park who start crowing competition around 4.30am., but as my nearest neighbours are 200m away I'm the only person losing sleep and not for long.

I believe it is almost impossible to breed hens now in the English countryside because of complaints about cocks crowing. The new ones are pretty aggressive but calm down as soon as I pick them up. Ben made a good job of taming them.


Anonymous said...

do you have a recipe for Coq au Vin

Tom Bryson said...

Coq au vin (After Elizabeth David)
Season the bird inside and out with salt,pepper and lemon juice. Place in a deep heavy pan with 100g butter and brown all over. Pour over a small glass of brandy and set alight. When flames have died down add a whole bottle of good red wine.Add giblets and slow cook 2hrs for a young bird, 4 hrs for a cockerel. Brown 20 shallots in butter and saute 200gms mushrooms. Just before the chicken is ready take out giblets add mushrooms, onions and crushed clove of garlic. When cooked remove chicken and carve, reduce the sauce to desired thickness and pour over bird. Good luck and remember use good wine!