Janine (Paris, 17th Arrondissement)

Last night we had an absolutely splendid meal at Janine, a cozy bistrot that opened last month on the rue des Dames in the 17th (Villiers and Rome are the closest Métro stations). The carte consists of three pre-starters, three entrées, three main dishes, three desserts, and cheese. There is a very attractive wine list at modest markups.

L began with celery root remoulade with squid and mussels; I had rabbit thigh in an escabèche marinade wrapped in grilled pointed cabbage served with tarragon mayonnaise and lime. We both took the yellow chicken (volaille jaune is one of the best-quality chickens in France) in a sauce of vin jaune and with a cream of artichokes, artichoke, and pommes Anna. I then took the generous cheese plate (I think five slices of 24-month Comté) that came with a super quince condiment (and I usually don’t care for condiments with my cheese plate). We shared a delicious bottle of 2021 Saumur-Champigny “Terres Rouges” from rising Loire star Arnaud Lambert, and then with the cheese I had a glass of 2020 Arbois Chardonnay from the excellent Jura and Burgundy producer, Domaine Rijckaert. Total bill was 136€.

The food has finesse and great clarity of flavors, and the owner is smiling and very friendly. He spent four years in the US as a chef and so speaks English fluently.

Close by (although in different directions) are the beautiful Parc Monceau and the very interesting Batignolles district, so you can profit by your trip out to the 17th with visits to one or both of those places.

Highly recommended.


Sounds lovey. Vin jaune, Comte, Rijckaert…is the owner from Jura?

I didn’t ask him directly, but from other things he said, apparently he’s from Paris.

Thanks for the tip - had a quick look online and seems to further corraborate your positive assessment. Seems like the place I’d like to visit so added it to my google maps for Paris.

Lovely report, Onz. And “volaille jaune … in a sauce of vin jaune” sounds so lovely to me!

Speaking of “where from”: Regarding the Rijckaert winery (https://rijckaert.fr/en/), and based on the name, I’ve long assumed there was (at least initially) a Dutch connection?

He originally is from Belgium and got his start working with Jean-Marie Guffens, another Belgian and a great producer in the Mâconnais.

I don’t often order chicken in a restaurant (I have a grandmother who makes a superb roast chicken for family dinners and there are some excellent rôtisseries in Paris when i need a chicken for a picnic or something, and so I consider restaurant chicken a bit of a waste of money) but do make an exception for poulet au vin jaune de Jura. So tell me, onz, how does it compare to the very trad version at Auberge Bressane in the 7th ?

Cuing @Carmenere. Volaille jaune depends on the feed, not the breed of chicken, no ?

Parn – I guess I should have made clear in my original commentary that the entrées and the volaille au vin jaune are what I would call contemporary traditional, not straight traditional.
Consequently, there are no morels and no (or at least very little) cream in the volaille au vin jaune at Janine. Morels happen to be my favorite mushroom (I’ll take them over truffles any day), but that’s ok here (at Janine) because it’s a different dish, made with the artichoke and artichoke purée. It’s also different because the portions are more in line with the Paris restaurants I most often go to, while Auberge Bressane has larger portions that one tends to find more in the provinces. Additionally, although this is based on only a single visit to Janine (vs. multiple to Auberge Bressane and its associated restaurants such as Aux Crus de Bourgogne, etc.), I would say that the quality of the raw materials is higher at Janine. In fact, to tell the truth, I no longer order the Poulet au vin jaune when I go to Auberge-Bressane and the associated others because I find their morels relatively flavorless – unlike when I’ve had the dish in the Jura or when I make something similar at home.

With respect to poulet jaune, Carmenere can speak for herself, but I pointed out that this was the breed of chicken because in the past she has told me that she considers it equal to or superior to Poulet de Bresse.

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Yes, indeed, it depends on the feed, not on the breed. It means corn-fed, and unless there’s been a dye applied to the chicken’s skin as I have seen in the US, it also vouches for good-quality breeding.

Yes, see my reply to Parn above.
Poulet de Bresse, despite having a protected denomination of origin and being subject to strict breeding rules, ultimately can be hit-and-miss depending on a lot of factors. When it’s good, it’s really good. By the way it’s a breed as well as the result of a type of breeding, but actually it’s comprised of two or three sub-breeds of the gauloise chicken breed (white, black, or dorée — AOP Poulet de Brese is more commonly gauloise blanche à pattes bleues, but it can also be gauloise noire in the Louhans region, etc.).

I tend to pick yellow-skinned chickens from the Southwest (Landes, Gers, Périgord…) because I have found them to be distinctly more tender and tastier than most other chickens. I tend to avoid white chickens in supermarkets unless I can be sure of the origin and the quality. Auvergne white chickens are quite good, and the Bresse of course.

I stand corrected.

Corn makes the chicken yellow, indeed, but not all corn-fed chickens are equal. Breed plays a big role too in how good it will taste.

I also buy mostly label rouge chicken from the Landes region, but my shop also has Bresse, French guinea fowl, duck, and in the festive season goose and capon. Poulet jaune is a nice multifunctional bird, good for roasting but if needed also for soups and braises. Poulet noir is one of my favourites and perfect for braising. In fact, I saw some fresh morilles in our shop last Friday so this thread is now making me long to cook them!

Breed is indeed essential (I wrote a whole book about that, find Terroirs if you’re interested, it also includes cows, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks, etc.) — and you’re right, if feeding corn to a chicken were enough to make it good, we’d all know about it by now.
However it seems that not all chickens take equally to yellow corn and I notice that the favorite breeds in the Southwest to produce yellow-skinned birds are the cou-nu or the simple poulet roux. And that Bresse chickens also get corn in their food but have white to pale yellow skin ultimately (Bresse is a corn-growing region just like the Landes or the Gers). It all probably lies in the proportions and there should be a lot of extra research to do before we understand how the equation of breed, feeding, skin color, and breeding methods really works.
By “black chicken” you probably mean “black-legged chicken”, which corresponds to a certain number of breeds raised in various regions and is usually very good. Incidentally the black Bresse chicken (gauloise noire) is also black-legged while the white Bresse (gauloise blanche à pattes bleues) has greyish blue legs.
Many, actually the better part of, chicken breeds in France are black-feathered. This is not particularly due to the primitive breeds but to genetic selection over the centuries. When taxes were collected in “nature” (i.e. in food items like small livestock) it was easier to hide dark-feathered chickens (compared to lighter or brigher-colored chickens) from tax collectors by moving them to a secluded place, preferrably at night.

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There was nothing to correct, as far as I can see. What I really mean on a purely foodie point of view is that, if you want good chicken the easy way — not having to drive to the countryside, or spend half your salary in a luxury poultry store, or buy a poulet noir online for the other half of your salary —, then you have the option of getting a yellow chicken from a supermarket, and it will be quite good. We’re rather lucky in France with our choice of readily available chickens. Of course not all yellow-skinned birds are equal, they still require some care in the picking, but the overall situation is pretty good.
However, I’ll be just as picky when it comes to Bresse chicken. I’ll feel safe with a bird from Johan Morand or Morgan Louche (you may google these guys).

Merci @onzieme, it’s a neighborhood I don’t know at all! Putting it on my list for the next time, and very much appreciate you writing this up.