The Daring Cooks #24 Ballotine of chicken...

For the April Daring Cooks Challenge, Lisa from Parsley, Sage and Sweet has challenged us to debone a whole chicken, using this video by Jacques Pepin as our guide; then stuff it, tie it and roast it, to create a Chicken Ballotine.
Better late than never... I know that the reveal date is on the 14th of each month but... My life was a little bit disturbed from its normal routine recently, that's why I had to "neglect" my lovely Anula's Kitchen, but just for few days - hope you'll forgive me... Back to the recipe! I loved the chicken ad I really loved the red rice stuffing too! The chicken (to my huge surprise) was still nice and moist, not dry at all (as it can be the case with chicken, very often...) and the sauce complimented the whole dish beautifully. This one is definitely a keeper! And it's nice for a change, not to be bothered with the whole "bone thing" while eating, just enjoy.

How to make it...

Ballotine of Chicken
Servings: 4 -6
- 1 chicken (1-3/4 kg), boned
- 1/4 teaspoon  salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Red Rice Stuffing or Spinach, Cheese, and Bread Stuffing (see recipe below)

- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup dry red wine (you can substitute chicken or vegetable stock or fruit juice, such as grape)
- 1 celery stalk, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 teaspoon potato starch OR cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to moderately hot 200°C.
Lay the chicken skin side down on the work surface and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Spread the cool rice or spinach mixture evenly over the chicken - stuffing the legs too. If using the spinach stuffing, sprinkle the cheese and bread cubes on top of the spinach. Roll the chicken up, tie it with kitchen string, and place it in a roasting pan.
Roast the ballotine for about 1 hour or until the temperature is 160-165 degrees F in the center of the ballotine. I took mine out after 50 minutes and let it sit until it reached 165. Lift it from the pan and place it on a platter.

For the sauce:
Skim off and discard most of the fat from the drippings in the pan. Add the water and wine to the drippings to deglaze the pan, and heat over medium heat, stirring to loosen and melt the solidified juices.
Strain the juices into a saucepan. Add the celery, onion, and carrot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and boil gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the dissolved potato starch and soy sauce and bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring, to thicken it. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the ballotine to a cutting board and remove the string. Cut half of it into 4 or 5 slices, each about 1 inch thick. Return the uncut half of the ballotine to the serving platter and arrange the cut slices in front of it. Pour the sauce over and around the ballotine, garnish with the parsley, and serve. Cut additional slices of ballotine as needed at the table.

Red Rice Stuffing
- 1/2 cup Wehani rice
- 1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or low-salt canned chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms, such as c├Ępes (porcini), rinsed and broken into pieces
- 1/2 large leek, trimmed (leaving some green), split, washed, and sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
Combine the rice, stock, salt, and dried mushrooms in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 1 hour, or until the rice is tender. Set the rice aside in the pan, uncovered.
Meanwhile, combine the leek, onion, oil, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and cook at a gentle boil for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook until all the water is gone. Add to the rice, mix well, and let cool to room temperature.
Place step by step photos accordingly, or leave note where you want photos to go.


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