Label Rouge is an association of over 5,000 French poultry farmers – and at the same time also a promise of special quality. To achieve this quality, animal welfare is also a very special focus throughout the entire rearing process.
Label Rouge chickens are free-range chickens of predominantly old and in many cases regional breeds, which have a long happy chicken life, running across French meadows (and forests) for at least 81 days – twice longer than a standard chicken.
In addition to the animal welfare aspect, a happy life in free-range farming also means: slower growth, more and tastier, firm and low-fat meat.
The mild climate of southern France guarantees that the chickens can actually live outside, they are less susceptible to diseases. The health of the animals is paramount. This is guaranteed, in addition to systematic controls of hygiene conditions at all production levels, also by the preferential herbal and homeopathic treatment of the animals.
The animals are fed exclusively with plant-based food, of which at least 75 percent is grain from predominantly local cultivation, guaranteed without genetic engineering. In this way, the animals are optimally supplied with vitamins and minerals and deliver excellent meat quality.
Recently, Label Rouge invited a small group of food journalists to the Alte Schmiede in Ottensen to further familiarize themselves with the products, answer questions – and, most importantly, enjoy the products firsthand. Master butcher and meat sommelier Andreas Stockfleth and Ruth Staudenmayer from the Schönecke poultry farm in particular contributed their technical expertise. Of course, we were shown how to cut the chickens professionally. With a few proper set cuts, no big deal, actually.
For the culinary highlights, Stevan Paul, cookbook author, colleague and friend, but above all brand ambassador for Label Rouge poultry in Germany, stepped into the role of chef. A total of five courses were served – all built around these very special chickens, of course. But also always marked by the echoes of Japanese cuisine that distinguish Stevan’s culinary signature.
Cream of chestnut soup with plucked chicken and pear pearls
For this recipe, Stevan uses the meat from the Label Rouge chicken wings that he had previously simmered in the chicken broth for this soup.
Chicken salad “Yuzu” with sesame dressing and roasted chicken skin
Roast chicken from the oven with potato-pumpkin aligot and ginger Brussels sprouts
Pro-tip from Stevan:“Salting the roast chicken the day before and then letting it rest, covered, in the refrigerator (the zero-degree compartment is ideal) for 24 hours is a real game-changer: the meat turns out flavorful, is no longer just superficially salty, the meat is even more tender, and the skin turns out crispy. “
Chicken broth according to Heiko Antoniewicz
Eine weitere spannende Neuentdeckung des Abends: Der fabelhafte Sekt Freundeskreis von Krack. Ein klassisches Champagner-Cuvée aus Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir und Chardonnay, die über 2 Jahre auf der Hefe in der Flasche verbleibt. Eigentlich im Weinladen St. Pauli erhältlich – hätte ich nicht gestern die letzten Flaschen aufgekauft 😉
All of the evening’s recipes are available as a kitchen-ready PDF for download over at Stevan Paul‘s site.
All photos by Claudia Krahne and Sascha Rucks. Thanks a lot!!