As I have worked my way down the East Coast, I have always taken away something from restaurants. Whether it is a technique, preparation, a specific recipe, etc…there is always something to be learned. I spent some time in a Philadelphia kitchen that was one of the most creative places I have ever been in. We would manipulate products in directions that I had not considered possible before; such as juicing onions for a soup. There were also items on that menu that were so easy and so delicious, you would wish you had thought of them first.
The recipe I am offering is one that combines both easy preparation and wonderful manipulation of the product. This is a tried-and-true recipe that never came off the menu, and its preparation is simple enough that one can serve a restaurant quality menu item at home.
Definition of Ballotine: In the culinary arts, a traditional ballotine is a deboned leg of a chicken, duck or other poultry stuffed with ground meat and other ingredients, tied and cooked. A ballotine is usually cooked by braising or poaching. In modern kitchens, a ballotine is sometimes made from other parts of the poultry, such as the breast, not strictly the leg. Moreover, a modern ballotine can be made using any type of meat, not limited to poultry. Source: Merriam-Webster.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 4 Portions
CVap Cook & Hold Settings: 165: 0: 2:00 hours
Ingredients / Quantity
- 2 Chickens, whole
- 8 oz Mushrooms, crimini, sliced, cooked
- 2 Tbs Thyme, picked, minced
- 1 Cup Cream
- 4 tsp Salt
- 2 Cups chicken thighs (fat, bone, and connective tissue removed)
Method of Preparation
- Preheat the CVap Cook & Hold to 165: 0: 2:00
- Lay the chicken breast side down on a cutting board.
- Score the skin of the chicken from the top of to the bottom of the bird along the spine. Remove the wings at the top of the breast.
- Flip the chicken over and remove the breast from the keel bone. Make sure you do not separate the skin on the back of the bird while doing this.
- Flip the chicken back over onto the breast and peel the skin from the neck all the way down and off the leg of the bird. Make sure to keep the breast meat attached to the skin. Repeat this process on the other breast.
- Once all the breasts are removed from the birds, lay them meat side up. Cut the breast at a 45° angle from the top of the breast to the tail. Do not cut all the way through the breast.
- Refrigerate the breasts until they are ready to be filled.
- Remove the legs from the bird. Debone the legs and remove all the fat and connective tissue from the meat.
- In a food processor add the leg meat and salt (2 teaspoons). Turn the food processor on and combine the ingredients.When all the ingredients are combined and smooth, about 1.5 minutes, slowly drizzle in the cream. Add the mushrooms and thyme. Place the forcemeat in a piping bag and reserve.
- Remove the breasts form the refrigerator and lay them out breast side up. Season with remaining 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Pipe the forcemeat into the cut breast.Roll the breast so the skin is completely covering the breast meat.
- Line a counter/ table with plastic wrap. With the box of plastic wrap at the top of the table, tear off a piece that it 20 inches long and place the rolled chicken breast about 6 inches from the bottom.
- Roll the plastic over the chicken breast and continue to roll the breast to the top of the plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is tight to the breast.
- Once the chicken is rolled, grab the edges of the plastic wrap at the ends of the chicken breast and hold firmly. Roll the chicken on the lined table/ counter surface to tighten the ballotine.
- Once the ballotine is tight, tuck the ends of the plastic wrap to the bottom of the ballotine and wrap in another piece of plastic wrap to secure them. Repeat this process with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Place the ballotines in the CVap Cook and Hold.
- Heat a pot of oil to 350°F to fry the ballotines when they come out of the cook & hold oven.
- Once the ballotines are cooked, remove them from the oven and let stand for two minutes.
- Remove the ballotines from the plastic and pat dry.
- Fry them in the oil until they are golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from oil and let stand five minutes before slicing and serving.