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1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

La Géline de Touraine celebrates 100 years of official recognition

Géline de Touraine               

This weekend is the centenary of the official recognition of the Géline de Touraine – La Dame Noir. The Géline is a superior chicken of similar status as the more famous Poulet de Bresse. The Géline is quite small, takes some 120-130 days to grow to maturity as opposed to some 90 days for the more commercially popular breeds. 

'La géline de Touraine a cent ans ce weekend
Le 12 novembre 1913 était homologué le standard de la géline de Touraine. Son centenaire est fêté à Loches un siècle après, presque jour pour jour.' 
La Nouvelle RépubliqueFurther details here.' 

The celebrations will take place in Loches and are organised by the UAGT (Union des amateurs de la Géline de Touraine et autres races de basse-cour Tourangelles. In addition to La Géline the UAGT also champions two other special Touraine species – L'Oie de Touraine (Touraine goose) and Le Lapin Gris de Touraine. Details of their history and characteristics can also be found on the UGAT site.     

Completely unaware of the Gélines coming centenary but having on a number of occasions enjoyed géline at Jacky Dallais' La Promenade (Le Petit Pressigny) we decided to cook a géline for a treat for our last weekend in Touraine this autumn before returning to London. We went to James Doiseau's excellent butcher's shop in Bléré and joined the customary queue – a fitting testimony to the excellence of his meat, poultry and charcuterie. 

We were served by James himself, who kindly suggested poaching the géline in a vegetable stock for 20 minutes before roasting it for around 60-70 minutes, while basting it with the vegetable stock. I followed his suggestion and it worked very well. The stock keeping the chicken moist, while having the advantage of concentrating the basting broth meaning that by the time the géline was cooked we had a suitably concentrated and flavoursome gravy. 

To accompany our géline, which has markedly dense flesh and gamy brown meat, we tried a well mature bottle of Corbières – a 1988 La Voulte Gasparets, which was a wonderful revelation as it had aged so well with delicate red and black fruits with a very fine, delicate balance that suggested it came from further north in France.  

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