Thursday, March 18, 2010

Poularde de bresse en vessie

I caught part of an episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" that my Mom was watching a while back. The answer for food connoisseur and TV host Ted Allen (b. 1965) was a dish called "Poularde de bresse en vessie." Created by French restaurateur Fernand Point (1897-1955), this comes out of the kitchen looking like a large golden globe (1st photo). But what appear to be rivers and tributaries are actually veins - the French translates to the less appetizing "chicken cooked in a pig's bladder"! "Yes, you read that last one correctly," writes a blogger. "Along with Ted describing his experience they had footage of the actual dish at the restaurant in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. If a quivering dinosaur egg with veins sounds appetizing to you, perhaps you should consider stopping by. The dinosaur egg is in fact an inflated pig bladder, with a guinea hen inside. How he could find that appetizing, especially after the waiter popped the bladder with a knife, is beyond me." Another blogger jokes that he will cook the poularde en vessie - if you bring the bladder.

But the critics call what Point did "genius":
The bladder poached in water insulated its contents but stretched and swelled up like a balloon so that it was taken to the customer's table looking like a football, where it was punctured and the chicken carved. Setting aside the dramatic aspect of the dish, using a bladder is exactly the same principle as modern sous-vide cookery: the flavours are retained and amalgamated during cooking."
The 2nd photo shows the dish being prepared by French chef Guy Savoy (b. 1953). And at least one American was inspired to try it at home while in Lyon, France. I wouldn't object to eating it, if it were served to me, but prefer my chicken to have a better "scald" on it. As tender as it may be, the bladder-steamed chicken in the photos looks pale.

1 comment:

  1. This is totally new to me. I love totally new stuff. I Googled "bladder-steamed" to see if you were the first to use the term, at least as recorded on the Internet. You would be the first were it not for bizarre entries such as the following: "is the intellectual bladder steamed cathode" this phrase, and others equally bizarre, come up in a Google search of "bladder steamed". But they are attached to porn sites. How strange is that?


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