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Géline (Black Poultry) in Salt Crust with Sautéed Potatoes Recipe
Géline (Black Poultry) in Salt Crust with Sautéed Potatoes
Jean Bardet, anc. Château Belmont
Jean Bardet, anc. Château Belmont
The Cuisine of Tours
Total time: less than 15 minutes
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Waiting time: 8 to 12 hours for the crust
Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note
A "géline" is a small free-range black chicken traditionally found in France's Touraine region. Nicknamed "the black lady," the géline rarely weighs more than one kilogram and has tender, dark, flavorful meat. Cooking it in a salt crust is a rustic preparation method well-suited to the géline. You could also substitute a small, high-quality free-range chicken.
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 1 géline (black fowl), see note above
- 3 slices of raw country ham
- 2 tbsp. goose fat
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- 500 g (18 oz.) flour
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) fine Salt
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- 200 g (7 oz.) coarse salt
- 1 egg white
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed, skins on
- 1 tbsp. chopped chives
- Salt and pepper
- 1 kg (2 1/4 lb.)
- 3 knobs of butter
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) peanut oil
- Salt and pepper
Preparing the salt crust
The day before, combine in a bowl the flour, table salt and water with a wooden spoon, then mix in the coarse salt and egg white. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in a cool place.

Preparing and cooking the géline

  1. The day of serving: preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F). Truss the géline, season with salt and pepper and brown in goose fat in a skillet.
  2. Wrap with the ham slices and then in the salt crust, rolled out to a 1 cm (scant 1/2") thickness. Let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Place the géline on a rack in a roasting pan and brush with beaten egg. Cook for 1 1/4 hours.
  4. Transfer to a serving platter. The géline can rest in its crust for up to 1 hour.

Cooking the sautéed potatoes

  1. Meanwhile, peel, wash and slice the potatoes thinly. Heat a skillet containing the peanut oil and 1 tsp. butter. When the butter foams, add the well-drained potatoes to the pan, coat with the oil-butter mixture and season with salt and pepper. Stir and shake the pan at least 3 times.
  2. Add the remaining butter to the middle of the potatoes and place the skillet in the oven. The butter will melt and brown the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are tender; do not stir, so as not to crush the potatoes and so that they brown well.

Preparing the garlic butter

  1. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan with the crushed garlic, then remove the garlic and clarify the butter in another pan (i.e., remove the clear butter from the milky liquid which will have settled to the bottom.).
  2. Season with salt and pepper, add the chives and keep warm until needed.


  1. After presenting the géline to the guests, break off the crust and discard it, remove the ham slices, cut into small pieces and add to the potatoes in the skillet.
  2. Cut the géline into 8 pieces and arrange them on a serving platter with the potatoes.
  3. Spoon the garlic butter over the géline pieces and bring to the table.
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