14 Comments to 'Roast Chicken Ballotine and Perfect Roast Potatoes'
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Last week, one of the Maaaaasterchef contestants cooked chicken ballotine for his main course. It was a lot to take on and, given that he also had a starter and a main course to make, he sadly didn’t quite get everything finished in time. However, out of that sadness came some good because it made us decide to cook chicken ballotine.
So, I picked up our copy of Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cooking Techniques and turned to the appropriate page. It told us that after boning, stuffing and rolling the chicken, we should wrap it in foil and poach it, then serve it cold. As an afterthought, it also mentioned that it’s possible to braise it and serve it hot. Being the type of people who really love roast chicken with roast potatoes, we ignored both of these and decided just to roast it.
I intently studied the section entitled “Boning the Bird”. Half an hour or so later, the bird in question was boned and ready to be stuffed. According to the recipe, the stuffing should be made from chicken breast, herbs, shallots and garlic. We went with sausages instead of the chicken breast. Once it was done, we tied it up tightly with string. This went into the oven on top of some vegetables until cooked through (we used our meat thermometer for this since it was hard to calculate).
We also did roast potatoes, in half goose fat and half vegetable oil. Like last time we did roast potatoes, they turned out very well indeed. In case we forget in future, or if someone else is interested, here is a vague recipe as to what we did both times that turned out very well:
– Peel and chop potatoes into smallish roast potato sized pieces
– Steam these until fairly soft but not completely cooked though
– Swish them around in the steamer with the lid on to fluff them up
– Leave them to dry out for a while
– Put half goose fat, half vegetable oil into a metal roasting dish (about a tablespoon of each)
– Put the dish into the oven to heat up
– When the fat is hot (you can sometimes hear it start to spit), remove it from the oven and put it on the hob with the burner on
– Put in the potatoes (careful of hot splashing fat!) and turn them in the hot fat to coat them
– Sprinkle the potatoes with a couple of generous pinches of salt and turn them again
– Put them into the oven for about an hour and a half, turning a couple of times during cooking
We were very pleased at how moist the chicken was. We had been worried that as it was stuffed and needed to roast for quite a while to cook all the way through, it would be dried out, but our fears were unfounded. We had roasted it “upside down” to start with, the turning it breast-side up for the last 20 minutes to half an hour. We also served it with braised leeks (in the top picture), steamed cabbage and roast celeriac.
With it we drank a Hamilton Russell Chardonnay from South Africa. This wine was intense but still elegant, and with a bit of oaky toast and spice which went particularly well with the crispy roast potatoes and the herby sausage stuffing.