The main dish at a French Christmas table in Provence will usually find a chapon (a neutered rooster) being served. It’s a great delicacy and not often found in the supermarkets or local markets except at Christmas time.

Our chapon came from the Christmas market at Coustellet – a small farming village only 8km from our home in Menerbes. The farmer’s stall is called Volailles de Cure Bourse, and he is one very proud farmer.

A proud rooster

Each bird is sold with a little ‘pedigree slip; giving information about the life and times of your chapon.

In our case, the bird was born on 18th May 2010.

Our farmer takes up the narrative: ” during the first three weeks of his life, he is sheltered from the heat of summer in a shaded enclosure. At the beginning of the fourth week, he is allowed to leave the gate of his shed and enjoy the delights of the wide field near to the Lagnes prairie.”

This field has diverse food for our rooster. He is able to feed on small worms that are prolific in the summer heat, certain small insects, diverse vegetation and other small animals which may hatch from time to time over this period.

After a few weeks, the farmer then supplements the rooster with a mixed bag of cereals and untreated (meaning no chemical substitutes) feed. He is kept in optimal conditions with plenty of water as well.

“All of this results in a bird of quite exceptional quality which arrives to-day for your table!”, concludes the farmer.

Not only are we given the pre-slaughtering life, the farmer then adds in his views on how to cook and other preparation tips. In his very considered opinion, the chapon will be enjoyed at its maximum by not freezing it, no condiments or seasoning used and cooked for 3.5 hours at 160 degrees Farenheit.

However, Madame, did not buy those cooking tips. not freezing – yes! Seasoning – yes! Herbes de Provence, a stuffing of pork and truffles, two celementines up the derriere, add in a splash or three of olive oil, a few sprigs of rosemary and then 3.5 hours in the AGA.

Here’s our little pictorial essay on the fate of our chapon.

Fresh from the fridge; ready for preparation

Seasoned, dressed and ready for the oven

3.5 hours later - ready for consumption!


One Response to “The Chapon at Christmas”

  1. Viola Foulser on December 25th, 2014 11:17 am

    Just cooking our Chapon now. In the Alps. Interested to know that it is a rooster as having seen one with feet in the super market couldn’t believe that it was a chicken!
    Merry Christmas!

Leave a Reply

  • Blog Roll

    • 2 Oceans Vibe - South Africa’s premier news site for the upwardly mobile.
    • 2Oceansvibe Radio - South Africa’s premier internet radio station – great tunes, good banter and setting the pace
    • Crikey - what they don’t publish in Oz, in the mainstream printed news. Concise comment.
    • Getaway Guru - Great travel site with many hints and tips
    • Popyacollar - A leading edge look at fashions and trends by a leading fashionista
    • Provence Villa Rental - the ultimate property rental in France. Provençal Paradise.
    • Thought Leadership Strategy – Craig Badings - Craig is one of Australia’s leading PR practitioners. His views on Thought Leadership and Strategy are always worth reading
    • Wrestling Possums - The doyen of PR, Chris Savage, gives this site his unique brand of incisiveness. A must read if you’re interested in communications.
  • Other Links



    LSW Twitter

    white spacer


    white spacer

    white spacer

    white spacer