What are sot-l’y-laisse?

Author: Maya Kerthyasa
Photography: Courtesy Bistro Mint

Chicken oysters are the two little oval-shaped pieces of meat attached to a bird on either side of the backbone. They're overlooked by many, but savoured by enthusiasts for their texture and flavour. They're enjoyed anywhere where chicken is popular (which is just about everywhere). In Japan, for example, they're often sold as a specialty skewer in yakitori restaurants, while in France, the local love for these morsels is reflected quite clearly by their French name: sot-l'y-laisse, which translates as something like "a fool leaves them". They're on the menu at Sydney French newcomer Bistro Mint, and manager Nic Whalley is an avowed fan. "They're taken from those small, dipped bones at the bottom of the bird," he says. "It's almost a signature piece of chicken because it's got the cleanness of the breast but the flavour of the leg or thigh." They're served as a snack at the restaurant, fried off with butter and sage (pictured above). "They're such a lovely, soft mouthful," he adds.

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