Since 100 years, they have been selecting the best AOP poultry from Bresse in France – the famous purebred called ”La Gauloise Blanche” – and putting it at the service of the world’s finest catering. This is the mission of Miéral, a family business that has taken four generations to structure its network of sixty local breeders of excellence. A certified network that follows in every detail the rules imposed by the Appellation d’Origine Protégée regulations, respecting traditions, the land and the animals, bred exclusively in the open air with 100% natural nutrition.
In the car together with Valery Mieral, Cardenal will attend the selection of the best chickens belonging to the AOC of Bresse.
Blue legs, white feathers and red crest: these are the distinctive features of Gauloise Blanche, the pure breed of poultry reared in Bresse, France, the only one in the world to have received the AOP, the Appellation d’Origine Protégée.
Three colors that immediately recall the French flag and make these chickens a gastronomic excellence recognized and appreciated in every continent.
The main characteristic of Gauloise Blanche is the consistency of the meat. A white meat with a fine, tasty and tender flesh, perfectly marbled. Its thighs are longer than the traditional chickens because they have been able to scratch and thus develop a more tapered musculature.
They are chickens that are reared outdoors for at least 4 or 5 months and have ample space to move freely.
Their nutrition is 100% natural and consists mainly of vegetables, natural minerals, molluscs, insects, Bresse corn, wheat, buckwheat and milk. There are no GMOs and the use of antibiotics is not foreseen.
They are only the best specimens of this breed that Miéral selects and sells since 1919. Four generations of a family that has always been dedicated to the excellence of Gauloise Blanche and its genetic uniqueness. A real mission, which first saw its crowning achievement in the establishment of the protected origin certification in 1957 and then, in the 1960s and 1970s, when starred chef Paul Bocuse – patron of the Nouvelle Cousine – chose Miéral as the sole supplier of Bresse poultry.
Only the best chickens, capons and turkeys certified by the AOP regulations can receive the Miéral quality mark. Valery himself, who has been running the family business since 2009 when he succeeded his father, Jean-Claude, is responsible for ensuring this.
It is he who personally visits the breeders and manually chooses the specimens one by one, according to their level of maturity. Only the perfect ones, without any defects, can become Miéral.
This ability to identify excellence, can count on over 100 years of valuable experience that has gradually improved in the field, indeed it would be more correct to say in the yard.
A frequentation, that of the “courtyard” of the farms and breeding farms of Bresse, which has increased the fame of the members of the Miéral family as experts in poultry even in the international gourmet cuisine.
Theirs is a know-how without conditions or comparisons, which starts with the choice of the breeder and ends with the processing of the animal at the slaughterhouse. From start to finish, the whole process is done by hand and focuses on “real” relationships between people.
What makes the difference in Miéral’s undisputed quality are the details, even the smallest ones. It’s the care with which every farm in the network is kept; it’s the talent of those who take care of the welfare of the poultry; it’s the careful and constant supervision at all times; it’s the natural diet with which chickens and capons are reared; it’s the respect for the timing of the work but especially for the time of the animal.
Longino meets Valery Mieral at the Paul Bocuse restaurant in Lyon: here he will taste the best chicken of his life.
According to the Appellation d’Origine Protégée, the name of Bresse can only be applied to chickens, turkeys and capons (the typical Christmas bird) that are bred in this province and respect the dictates imposed.
And for all the other farmyard poultry that are raised here but are not included in the specification simply because they do not belong to these three breeds? How to certify the quality of poulette and poulard? Of geese, ducks, chickens, turkeys and pigeons?
For them Miéral has filed the registered trademark Excellence which in turn is based on a precise and very strict “specification” and follows the dictates of the AOP. All animals must in fact be fed for a minimum of five months with grass, natural minerals, molluscs, insects, as well as cereals and cow’s milk. Also for them open air and plenty of space to roam freely.
More recently, Miéral has set up Prince De Dombes – which has received “Label Rouge” certification from the French Ministry of Agriculture – for that poultry of excellence that is reared in the Dombes region, south of Bresse and which reflects five fundamental principles:
And then there are the selection criteria, those presided over by Valery Miéral himself, who personally chooses every single specimen.