Monday, 26 March 2012

Ballotine of Chicken with Onions & Raisins, Root Veg Puree

I have this friend that's an amazing cook.  If anybody's got a talent for cooking, it's him.  Last time at a dinner party he made ballotine of  chicken with nuts and honey, accompanied by fresh fruits, a blue cheese sauce, and roasted root veg.  So this is an amateur attempt of that.
It was fun/such a pain stuffing the chicken.  It's basically like rolling a maki.  The key is just to roll it as tightly as possible,  and making sure that the chicken breast is intact.  When you flatten it sometimes it can..fall apart, and you don't want that.  Anything stuffed is impressive. Stuffed vegetables, stuffed roasts, stuffed chicken breasts -- never fail to impress at dinner parties.

Total time:  1 hr  Serves: 2  

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
1 large onion
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup raisins

1 cup parsnips
1 cup butternut squash
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp cream cheese

2 cups rocket
extra virgin olive oil
salt

Method
Root veg puree:
Steam your root veg for about 20 minutes or until tender.  In a pan over medium high heat, add your butter, garlic and thyme and fry for a minute before adding the root veg and stir to coat everything in the butter.  Put in a food processor along with the cheese and puree until smooth.


Rocket salad:
Toss the rocket in some olive oil and salt.


Ballotine of chicken:
Start by making your onion raisin stuffing.  Heat some oil in a pan over medium high heat and add in your onions and thyme.  Fry for 5 minutes before turning the heat down to medium and continue to stir every now and then for about 20 minutes before adding the raisins.  Season.
1. Butterfly your chicken breast:  lay your chicken breast down on a cutting board and remove the small inner fillet (it's the bit that's not fully attached to the breast).  Season lightly.  With the edge of your knife parallel to the cutting board, cut through the middle of the breast, and slice to the other end, but don't cut through. And open it up.
Good Housekeeping
Put the breast in between two sheets of cling film. Get something heavy, like a pot, and flatten the chicken breast by banging it gently, not too hard.
Place half of your onion mixture (or maybe a bit less depending on how large your chicken breasts are).  And roll it like a maki sushi.  Roll with the cling film and roll it very tightly, make sure it's as tight as possible.  Then wrap the whole thing with the cling film -- again, as tightly as possible, then tie each end with a knot.  It should not feel soft, it should feel really tight.
Boil a large pot of water, and place the chicken in, poach for 8 minutes then plunge in a bowl of cold water.
Unwrap them from the cling film, heat some oil in a large pan and then fry these until caramelized all around.  Then cut into slices and prepare for plating.


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