Why is (Runder) Poulet so called (it means ‘ chicken ‘ in French)? Where did it come from?

In linguistics, this phenomenon is called metonymy.A well-known example of this is Jeep. Jeep would be colloquial abbreviation of general purpose but actually it is just a brand name of the Crysler concern and should not be used for the SSV of other brands, but sometimes it says “Jeep from BMW” etc.

Champagne, in principle, also comes only from Champagne, France and not all wine varieties with prick may be called Champagne, but they are named.

I don’t really mind it, but here my €0.05.Probably it is originally a marketing trick of the butchers, who wanted to steal turnover from the poelier. Poulet should have ever stood for small pieces of a chicken. But yes, those little pieces are hard to distinguish from small chunks of pork or beef, so at some point it became a collective name for small pieces of meat of unknown or suspect origin that you could better cook or roast for a very long time. But strangely it is, especially for someone who speaks French, to hear talk of beef poulet and pork poulet. That reminds me of a café in Amsterdam-Oost where I could not order coffee: ‘ Coffee??? We are here in a café! ‘

Dré de Man has already given the answer I thought: it has become a generic term for diced meat meant to stew.I only know runderpoulet, but online you can also see pork poulet, lamb poulet and, yes, chicken Poulet.The explanation for the term would be that chicken meat was first referred to, later diced chicken meat to stew, and again later diced meat for stebbing. Seems plausible.

The curious thing now is that I could not find proof online at all.Exactly for these kinds of questions we have the dictionary of Dutch language (in short: WNT), and… Poulet does not come in at all!Try yourself: Historical dictionaries.Also in Van Dale the word poulet does not occur.

What turns out: we spell it wrong!The correct spelling is poelet and that is in the free online Van Dale with the meaning: pieces (soup) meat.

Also in the WNT it is spelled so: Poelet, and is given as meaning:

Small pieces of Vleesch, usually vleesch of a calf’s breast, which are eaten with a white sauce, like ragout, but are sometimes also used as soup meat.

Such a “white”, may egg tied and with lemon juice or vinegar acidified sauce is called in French sauce Poulette.That’s why you, Céline, are undoubtedly familiar. Chicken does not need to be included. See for example Moules à la sauce poulette.Also with us is pork, veal or chicken poelet topped with such a sauce a traditional dish. The WNT therefore gives as explanation for the word poelet:

From Fr. Poulette, which is used only for (the Vleesch of) a young hen.

But one can say in Fransch à la sauce poulette or à la poulette, i.e.: prepared with a sauce with which you serve young chicken.That sauce now, of which LITTRÉ (3, 1246 b) mentions the Filedeels, resembles the one which is eaten with us over the poelet .Perhaps later a transfer of the tithing has taken place, so that the Vleesch that Evenzoo was prepared as Kippevleesch got the name of it.

So the word is already in French, as Poulette, detached from the meaning chicken meat, and the word poelet would then be derived therefrom.Not from Poulet, which is really a wrong spelling.

I myself am not a kitchen prince and had never heard of Poulette , and also the Wnt editor does not seem very sure about his or her case, But on YouTube The concept of poulette is nicely explained by a certain Jan Buytaert, a Flemish chef de Cuisine that has been taught to cook in France, and it is indeed a dish of small pieces of meat (eel, in this case), topped with a bonded sauce.The statement from WNT seems to me correct.

Poulette means chicken (both literally and figuratively), but I came across the remark that is not sure where the Poulette in sauce Poulette is now coming from.Escoffier wrote it with a capital letter: Sauce Poulette.

It is suspected of the Indo-European “PU”, small animal.Young chicks are called “pulses” in the Drents.


Thanks for your question.According to me because chicken is sold or cut into cubes for baking (eg. Roti (Surinamese dish also beef cubes). If beef is sold in cubes, the denomination beef poulet is obvious. It also sounds more chic than beef cubes or beef pieces.

Roti (DISH)

Runderpoulet Pictures

Chicken Poulet or Chicken poulet (cylinders).

It is called Pollo in Spanish and Italieens.

All three languages are in Lateinse family where it is called “Pullum” so it is related to its parent relationship.

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