Grand Finale Feed Recipe Card: Give your American Bresse meat chickens a grand finale! Use our recipe to make finish feed for your birds!
Early on, the Ambresse Acres team were asking the same questions. This put us on a researching binge, because an excellent, easy to prepare recipe would make it so very easy to produce delicious gourmet poultry. Then breeders and their customers would be eating like the kings and queens of yore.
The concept of finishing poultry is new only in North America. (The Cornish Cross crowd certainly never inquire about finishing!)
In France, the French Bresse growers all finish their market birds, and partially for that reason (that and genetics), Poulet de Bresse is renowned around the globe as a premium product.
Here we are, 12 years after the first imports of Bresse chickens into North America, and American Bresse chickens are capturing the attention of chicken owners. A growing crowd of American Bresse growers are highly interested in learning how to authentically finish American Bresse meat poultry, even if only to decide for or against the practice for one’s own personal use.
Ambresse Acres scoured the internet, and especially the French Bresse pages, to learn how the original breeders do it, what their formulation is, and any tricks they employ to make it all work. After all, the French have practiced for hundreds of years how to produce the chicken product known globally as the best chicken in the world, "the queen of poultry, and the poultry of kings."
Finished Bresse easily earn praise. Truly high praise is frequently rendered to gourmet chefs, such as the famous Michelin chef Georges Blanc, for their exquisite skill at preparing gourmet meals with Bresse chicken as a highlight.
We'll never be gourmet cooks, we feared, but at least a solid finishing feed recipe card would get us a little farther down the road toward deliciousness.
After all the research, we began finishing our birds in the same manner as do the French. Oh. My. Goodness.... The flavors are rich beyond anticipation.
We ate a LOT of finished American Bresse cockerels (no complaints here!) as we smoothed out the practice of finishing. It took many more drafts before we were able to eliminate the remaining question marks regarding the finishing formula. Good thing that we had MANY 15 and 16 week old cockerels to finish! We made batch after batch of finish feed, measuring, re-measuring, and finally standardizing a recipe for our use.
It is so curious that a delicious finished American Bresse poultry meal never seems to get old!
Today I have a printed Grand Finale Feed recipe tucked into the old Betty Crocker cookbook. The recipe is nearly memorized by now, but the card is there to correct me if I forget an exact amount.
We call it Grand Finale Finish Feed. Or Grand Finale Feed (GFF). Or even simply Finale Feed, because our market birds eat very well for the last week of their lives. It's their grand finale.
The purpose of finishing feed is to provide the nutrients that optimize the Bresse genetics and increase the deposition of fat in the bird's body.
Therefore finish feed is the the sole feed when finishing American Bresse poultry, intended for the last one to four weeks before the date with the poultry processor. This feed is different from regular feed. Instead of a balanced feed, this feed consists of grains (we suggest corn and wheat) soaked in milk, which is exactly how the French farmers finish their poultry. It is higher in carbs and fats than the usual poultry feed.
With Grand Finale Feed, the chicken's body can take in and absorb the nutrition, resulting in fat deposition throughout the body of the American Bresse bird, in addition to some fat pads in the typical spots, such as around the neck and by the tail.
It IS possible to finish other breeds of chickens. I just cannot say whether or not the genetics will be present to support the same fat-layering will occur in breeds other than Bresse.
Is the extra fat bad for you? Is eating grain-fed chickens bad for you? These and other questions are answered here.
Finish feed is important to finishing, but additionally, finishing also includes caging in epinettes in darkened and quiet quarters. All of this encourages low energy output and higher intake of energy resulting in the aforementioned fat deposition. We cover nearly every detail of finishing at length on our Finishing American Bresse Chickens page.
That said, finishing is certainly not an absolute requirement, and many breeders do process without finishing. But many others do indeed enjoy the results of processing, as do we at Ambresse Acres.
This is where Grand Finale Finish Feed (GFF) comes in. It is closely patterned after the rations that French Bresse farmers have fed their Bresse poultry for the last five centuries or more. It works like a champ!
Get our recipe card, feed GFF to your own birds, and see (and taste) the results for yourself!
The recipe for Ambresse Grand Finale Finish Mix is available as an electronic PDF document, and also as a recipe card printed on sturdy card stock.
The recipe card lists quantities for 1 to 4 batches, and provides:
With this GFF recipe it'll be a snap to make finishing porridge for your own poultry!
The recipe card is available in several formats!
1) As an electronic PDF document.
2) If you prefer a PRINTED copy, we'll print it for you on Card Stock.
Copyright Notice: Grand Finale Finish Feed, the dry mix, and the recipe card is copyrighted © 2023 by Ambresse.com. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form (except for personal use as purchased) without the express written permission of the author.
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