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Chicken Ballotine

Introduction & method

It seems to me like every competitor on Masterchef at some point has a go at this chicken ballotine recipe. It's a classic French way to make what is essentially a stuffed roll of chicken, and it's a joy to eat if you can get it right.

Chicken Ballotine Recipe

Roll the stuffing into a sausage, wrap it in plastic film and place it in the freezer until it is almost, but not quite, frozen. Stuffing recipe.

Build the chicken ballotines

Lay a large sheet of plastic film (2-3 times the width of your boned chicken leg) horizontally on your worktop. Place 2 slices of ham side by side in the centre of the film. Remove the skin from the chicken leg and place the leg onto the ham. The ham and the chicken should have their narrowest edge towards you. Place half the stuffing roll close to the bottom edge of the chicken. Now pick up the edge of the plastic film nearest you, and pull it up over the chicken, forming it into a roll as you do so. Twist the ends of the film and fold them up over the roll. Wrap tightly in a second layer of film, and twist the ends of that closed. Put the ballotines in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Poach the ballotines

Bring a pan of water to the boil. Put the ballotines in, turn down the heat so the water is just simmering, put a lid on the pan and let the ballotines poach for 20 minutes. After that time, remove them from the pan and place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes. This allows the chicken and stuffing to firm up.

Sear the ballotines

Melt some clarified butter (or vegetable oil) in a frying pan on medium heat. Unwrap the ballotines, pop them in the pan and sear the outsides so they are lightly browned all over. Using a probe thermometer, check the internal temperature of each ballotine - it should be not less than 75°C (167°F). 

Serve the ballotines

Thickly slice the ballotines and serve with potatoes, vegetables and a light chicken gravy.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Chicken Ballotine on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 2 boned chicken legs
 4 slices jamón or parma ham
 100 grams sage and onion stuffing


Clarified butter or oil to sear the ballotines.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 2 ballotines
Prep time: 20 minutes.
Chilling time time: 50 minutes.
Cooking time: 25 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes.