The big chicken

Here, you see a big chicken on a roundabout. The big chicken has several significations for me personally. Firstly, let me point out that the name brings back fond memories. We nicknamed a guy The Big Chicken years ago when I lived in Les Allues. He was a very overweight man who worked on the ski lift there, and when he saw some friends of mine devouring a whole chicken for breakfast on their way up the ski lift, his eyes were bulging with envy, and so, he became known as The Big Chicken.

But even before I knew of The Big Chicken in Les Allues, I had passed this particular big chicken many times. The metallic sculpture lives on a roundabout above the toll road that takes you towards the Alps. The first time I saw it, I was in a bus, so demanding a detour for a closer look was out of the question. The next time, I was driving as part of a convoy, and I had no way of stopping without losing my friends. Every time since, I’ve been in a hurry to drive back to England or back to the Alps and I’ve never taken the time to stop. That is, of course, until last week, when the road trip was much shorter and therefore more relaxed on timing. Now, I finally have my snap of the big chicken and I cannot describe just how happy this makes me.

You may be wondering why there’s a big chicken on a roundabout. Like many French roundabouts I’ve written about, this one signifies the produce from the region — Bresse. The area breeds good chickens for eating, and with their AOC status, they fetch a higher price than other chickens. The locals are very proud of their chickens, as this roundabout might suggest. The roundabout is visible from a great distance as the metallic sculpture is much higher than most roundabout decorations. Check the size of the car against the giant chicken. I wonder how many parents have had to stop after their kids have cried: “I want to stop at the big chicken.” Or is it just me? Before setting off, the obligatory photo of me standing in front of said big chicken with my best chicken stance (one leg raised, hands on hips, neck unnaturally forward) was taken. Now, if only I could get a photo of the Les Allues Big Chicken doing the same…

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I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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4 comments on “The big chicken
  1. Andy Green says:

    This is amazing having driven to bourge en Bress about 7 times last season I have never seen the chicken. This must be further up on the motorway as always get off at bourg sud.

    Great blog keep up the good work

  2. Anne says:

    Great post! I love the big chicken and what you wrote.

  3. Jack says:

    Fantastic! Enjoyed the famous Bresse Chicken many times, but never actually made it to the region…a sudden inspiration for a road trip is now welling up inside me to check out the big chicken! Thanks for sharing that 🙂

  4. April says:

    Andy, the big chicken make the journey for me – stay on the motorway! Thanks for the nice feedback too.
    Anne, thanks for the compliment. I hope my future posts are as enjoyable.
    Jack, I’m pleased I’ve inspired a road trip! The restaurants in the region do great things with the chicken, so I’m told by my French friend who I visited on that trip. An added bonus.

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About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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