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Chicken mon poulet

 "Chicken mon poulet"

Çırağan Palace Executive Chef Olivier Chaleil

I was my mother's "mon poulet" (my chicken) for a long time. In France, this is inevitable, but more importantly, you like it. And then after a while, after some while when you grow up, you have your own "ma poule"; your first girlfriend is always your "ma poule", until well, she gets to be an ordinary or aged "poulet"... Not only we call each other after this loved animal but eating chicken with the whole family is a real ritual, and simply we love the taste.

As you understand, in France, chicken is a serious business... Actually, so serious that

"poulet" means at the same time the slenge for "police"... So............... lets talk about chicken! First

of all, I would like to share very important information with you: There are more chickens in the world than any other birds. Second of all, recent evidence suggests that domestication of the chicken was already under way in Vietnam over 10,000 years ago.

In France, we have major races of chicken; "Poussin" (spring chicken) young chicken,250 to 300 g; "Poulet quatre quarts", a battery chicken consumed at about 45 days old, weighting kg; "Poulet de grain" (grain feed chicken, a battery chicken consumed at 50to 70 days old, weighting over a kilo to 1.8 kilos); "Poulet d'appelation",living in large pens, and consumed at 120 days old, going up to kg, firm and flavoured; "Poulet de Bresse", top quality bird, from a local breed, set free in a 10 square meters pasture at 35days old for weeks. Then put in an indoor cage for 15 days, consumed at 16 weeks, "Chapon" (capon), a young castrated male which will go up to kg.

"Roasted chicken" was the typical family lunch of a Sunday after church for me for many years; they are cooked in different ways in different areas of France. On my arrival at Istanbul I wanted to go on with this French family tradition of course... I went for shopping at different markets and found that most of the chickens looked like twin brothers or better, clones (no offense to the chicken). I was sure dissappointed at first but I did not give up. In a huge country like Turkey full of land and ¡credible farming, I thought I would be able to find the chicken that would save my Sunday family lunc. After ten thousand phone calls to different parts of Turkey from Çanakkale to Adana, even toKars, came m^Turkish feminine Zorro... In the name of Gülçin Erdeniz Kenar. She called me on an ugly black Monday where I was having my usual Monday syndrom...and turned my Mondays into Sunny Chicken Mondays!

This beloved chicken is an organic chicken raised with passion (and corn), and this chicken comes from Bolu (if there are people who dont know where Bolu is -it is the land of the Turkish chef mafia- no offense to chefs).

Having found "that chicken" for my own use, there came a more challening and a bigger step: To include chicken in the menus of Qiragan Palace Kempinski, in restaurants or banquet events. Everybody (including our General Manager) objected basicly saying chicken was not a very "chic" product to serve here. But I also objected because the chicken I found was something more than a chicken; because it was a free range, organic chicken it tasted like heaven, and it was much more nutritious.

After this good news, I knew and I know now that anything can be found in this very fertile land of Turkey. As a foreigner and a Chef, I always want to find the best product and I believe any chef with a professional concience will always try to find the best from the country where he or she is, rather than importing. And the other good news is, in our adventure of going natural in any product we can find for the whole hotel, I have come across with many passionate local producers with whom we speak the same language with; the language of love!

And now THE ORGANIC chicken is at the Qragan Palace Kempinski, you will have it in any shapes and dishes, from a club sandwich to consome, going to a mixed grill... Ladies and Gentlemen; are you ready for the switch? Yes you are! So just drop by!

WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD? Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability.

WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD? Oliver North: National Security was at stake.


Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.


Thomas de Torquemada: Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.


Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.


Olivier Chaleil: Due to his interest to meet me but he did not know I was A