Sunday, 14 April 2013

Daring Cooks April 2013: 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.

So I have a small confession to make. I went to my parents house to make the ballotine so I had enough people to feed with it and their Internet connection is a bit dodgy and doesn't work in the kitchen so I didn't actually do it from the video. I used a couple of books for reference instead. This is most likely how I managed to debone a chicken backwards! As what I thought was the underside was not actually the underside! Here's a picture of me deboning the chicken:

Despite that, it still worked, I still had the skin in one piece with only a few holes and what came out was a deliciously tender and tasty bird with a simple but delicious filling. We served it with roast potatoes, courgettes and broccoli. A really good Sunday lunch. I also have to say thank you to George for being a brilliant helper and camera man :)

Ballotine of Chicken
Servings: 4 -6

1 chicken (about 3-3/4 pounds) (1-3/4 kg), boned
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) (1¼ gm) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) (½ gm) freshly ground black pepper
Spinach, Cheese, and Bread Stuffing (see recipe below)


1 Preheat the oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6.

2 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.

3 Roast the ballotine for about 1 hour or until the temperature is 160-165 degrees F in the centre of the ballotine. Lift it from the pan and place it on a platter.

Spinach, Cheese, and Bread Stuffing

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) finely chopped garlic
5 ounces (140 gm) baby spinach leaves
1/4 teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1¼ ml) (½ gm) freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (240 ml) grated Gruyère or mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces/115 gm)
1 1/2 cups cubed (1/2-inch) (1¼ cm) bread


1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan or skillet. Add the garlic, spinach, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute to soften the garlic and wilt the spinach.
2 Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.


  1. LOL@ possibly boning it upside-down! However, it doesn't make a difference once it's stuffed, rolled ,trussed and roasted! It looks awesome and you got such great color! Thank you for participating in my challenge!

  2. Upside-down deboning that is so funny!!!!! But it doesn't seem to have mattered to the final result your bird looks so delicious well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  3. It took me some time to figure out the back from the front, so you aren't alone! Looks delicious!