chicken ballotine, Jacques Pepin’s recipe

chicken ballotine
i watched Jacques Pepin deboning a small chicken on his public tv show, and i was really mesmerized by the chef’s technique. and the result i already know is delicious–having seen a favorite chef post online about her daring challenge. i just had to try it for myself. (i love our Filipino version**, stuffed with meat, but this is a simpler, straightforward yet still bold and tasty stuffing..)

but first i had to bake a loaf of our favorite bread…

i dunno, it just seemed like the proper thing to do. if you watch the show, the bread slices they used looked hearty and thick. the recipe is from King Arthur Flour, beautiful burger buns shaped into a loaf.
favorite loaf bread
but first it looked kind of unpromising
fresh baked bread
it was a hot and humid evening, i started out late, and got too sleepy to bake it so i let the second rise grow overnight.
it turned out really swell!
deboned chicken w/ spinach and cheese and bread stuffing
deboning the chicken, after watching the video at least three times, was, well, FUN! learning a new technique is very exciting. i followed Monsieur Pepin’s techniques of using a small sharp filleting knife, and held the handle with a towel to keep my hand steady from the sticky fleshy handling of the chicken parts.
stuffed with wilted spinach(cooled) and golden garlic bits in olive oil, then topped with grated swiss cheese and cubed bread, then rolled and trussed;
plumpy little chicken
doesn’t she look kind of cute? i named her “plumpy.”
fresh out of the oven
surrounded by young yukon gold potatoes while it baked for an hour (internal temperature 180°F).
(for crispy skin, roast in a preheated 550°F oven for 5 minutes, turn down the heat to 350°F, and bake for 55 minutes more.)
let rest 20 minutes .
w/roast potatoes and gravy
served on a bed of arugula and lettuce, it was really terrific! crispy skin, tasty filling, easy slicing.
i want to make it again and again, to practice my newly learned deboning skill. with perhaps a ground ham and chicken and pistachio filling? bread cubes and sauteed veggies? maybe for the next turkey big-bird dinner? can’t wait…

**chicken relleno recipe here.