Saturday, July 19, 2014

Chicken Ballotine/Galantine

Let's be honest, if you're a vegetarian, you're probably not going to make this dish. For the rest of the meat-eating folks, I implore you to try it. So before we delve into the recipe and minutia, what is chicken ballotine? Well, think about a sausage; now replace the casing with a whole deboned chicken. Sound good? Now let's get to it.

Chicken ballotine involves a few steps - deboning, stuffing, tying and baking. The most difficult part of the process is deboning the bird and instead of a tutorial, I defer to a greater power - Jacques Pepin. Of course, if you can get your butcher to do it, you'll save yourself a lot of work.

Reiterating a few points of the video:
  • Cut through ligaments
  • Do lots of pulling and less cutting

Chicken ballotine with spinach stuffing
  • Chicken
    • One 3-4 lb whole chicken deboned
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/8th tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp thyme
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • Butcher's twine (~4-5 ft to be safe)
  • Spinach Stuffing
    • 6 oz baby spinach
    • 1 small onion
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 5-6 button mushrooms
    • 3-4 oz cheese (Gruyere, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola work well)
    • 1/2 tbsp butter
    • Salt and pepper to taste
1) Coat the chicken evenly with salt, thyme and black peppers. Place on an uncovered sheet pan skin-side up. Rub the skin with baking soda and refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours. This will allow the skin to dry and brown more quickly.

2) Remove the chicken from the refrigerator ~ 2 hours before baking, and let it rest at room temperature.
3) ~ 1 hour before baking, finely dice the onion, garlic and button mushrooms.
4) In a pan on medium heat, combine the butter and mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms in the butter until they fry and become aromatic; roughly 10 minutes. Then add the diced onion and garlic and cook until soft and aromatic.
5) Add the spinach leaves into the pan and cook until soft. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Once cool, add the cheese and then season to taste.
6) Add the stuffing to the flesh side of the bird, making sure to work it into the wings and legs.
7) Wrap the bird in the method described in the video.
8) Bake at 400 F for ~ 1 hr.
9) Remove from the oven, rest for 5 minutes and slice.

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