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Chicken Ballotine

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Chicken ballotine is a fancy and delicious meal that will impress! A whole chicken deboned and wrapped with a spinach, cheese and bread stuffing. A fancy French meal that is worth the time and effort!

This classic French dish is a fun challenge to make, and so delicious that it is worth it!
slice of chicken ballotine on white plate
slice of chicken ballotine on white plate

Ready for a super challenge? Come on, I know you can do it!
If you ready to roll your sleeves up, chanel Jacques Pepin, and take on something technically challenging but so deliciously worth it, than I have an amazing recipe for you today!

Love cooking traditional meals that will stretch your cooking techniques? Try these dinners:

  • Traditional Cassoulet – Well worth the time and effort, this traditional cassoulet is perfect dinner to show off with!
  • Chicken and Sausage Paella – This Paella recipe has bright flavors and is a lovely meal to share with friends and family.
freshly baked chicken ballotine on wooden cutting board

I would suggest wrapping your laptop in saran wrap and placing it on your kitchen counter while you make this. You will want to watch this video about 50 bajillion times while you prepare this. This way you can stop/rewind/play as much as you need without getting raw chicken all over everything. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAekQ5fzfGM

Once you get through the de-boning part, the stuffing, stuffing, wrapping and roasting portion are fairly straightforward, and afterward – WOW. I was kind of hoping this would be an ultimate flop so I would never have to do it again. But that is not the case here at all. This is delicious. Amazingly delicious. Very moist, and sooo delicious! I’m definitely going to be mangling more chickens!

plate with mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus and chicken ballotine slice

How to make chicken ballotine

This recipe is very simple to make! Here is a brief overview of the recipe to give you an idea of how it works. For the full set of directions and measurements, please make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below!

Make the stuffing

  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. Grate the Gruyere cheese and set aside.
  3. Cube the bread into 1/2″ cubes and set aside.

Make the chicken

  1. Remember to refer to the above mentioned video and debone the chicken.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  3. Lay the chicken skin side down on the work surface and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. 
  4. Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the chicken – stuffing the legs too. 
  5. Sprinkle the cheese and bread cubes on top of the spinach. 
  6. Roll the chicken up, tie it with kitchen string, and place it in a roasting pan.
  7. Roast the ballotine for about 1 hour or until the temperature is 160-165 degrees F in the center of the ballotine. I took mine out after 50 minutes and let it sit until it reached 165. 
  8. When the chicken is done cooking, transfer it to a cutting board to rest while you make the sauce.

Make the sauce.

  1. Skim off and discard most of the fat from the drippings in the pan. 
  2. Add the water and wine to the drippings to deglaze the pan, and heat over medium heat, stirring to loosen and melt the solidified juices.
  3. Strain the juices into a saucepan. 
  4. Add the celery, onion, and carrot and bring to a boil over high heat. 
  5. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and boil gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the dissolved corn starch and soy sauce and bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring, to thicken it.
  7. Remove from the heat.

Serving the ballotine

  1. Remove the string from the ballotine. 
  2. Cut half of it into 4 or 5 slices, each about 1 inch thick. 
  3. Return the uncut half of the ballotine to the serving platter and arrange the cut slices in front of it. 
  4. Pour the sauce over and around the ballotine, garnish with the parsley, and serve. 
  5. Cut additional slices of ballotine as needed at the table.

What to serve with Chicken Ballotine

This meal is so fun to because its such a show stopper! Serve it alongside mashed sweet potatoes and roasted whole carrots for a lovely meal that is sure to please everyone. Don’t forget dessert! Serve with a fromage blanc tart for a fun French meal!

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the recipe, please do not copy and paste or screenshot. Thanks so much for supporting me! xoxo

slice of chicken ballotine on white plate

Chicken Ballotine Recipe

This classic French dish is a fun challenge to make, and so delicious that it is worth it!
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Chicken Recipes
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 389kcal
Author: Jenni

Ingredients

Spinach, Cheese, and Bread Stuffing

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 ½ cups cubed 1/2″ bread

Ballotine

  • 1 whole chicken about 3 3/4 pounds, boned
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce

  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • cup water
  • 1 celery stalk diced into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 small onion chopped finely
  • 1 carrot pulled and cut into 1/4″ dice
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tablespoon of water
  • 1 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Spinach, Cheese and Bread Stuffing
  • 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.
  • Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. (The cheese and bread come into play when you are stuffing the chicken, so just prepare them and set aside for now).
  • Ballotine of Chicken
  • Preheat the oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Roast the ballotine for about 1 hour or until the temperature is 160-165 degrees F in the center of the ballotine. I took mine out after 50 minutes and let it sit until it reached 165.
  • Lift it from the pan and place it on a cutting board.

For the sauce:

  • Skim off and discard most of the fat from the drippings in the pan.
  • Add the water and wine to the drippings to deglaze the pan, and heat over medium heat, stirring to loosen and melt the solidified juices.
  • Strain the juices into a saucepan.
  • Add the celery, onion, and carrot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Cover, reduce the heat to low, and boil gently for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the dissolved corn starch and soy sauce and bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring, to thicken it.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Serving
  • Remove the string from the ballotine.
  • Cut half of it into 4 or 5 slices, each about 1 inch thick.
  • Return the uncut half of the ballotine to the serving platter and arrange the cut slices in front of it.
  • Pour the sauce over and around the ballotine, garnish with the parsley, and serve.
  • Cut additional slices of ballotine as needed at the table.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 598mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

8 Comments

  1. Yay! I'm so glad you did it and regardless of the 'mangling', it looks awesome. Like I said, all that matters is getting the bones out. Messy or not, once it's tied and roasted, no one would ever know and I would have never known had you not told us! I'm so glad you enjoyed it..which means you have to do it again lol I'm so positive it will be easier and less mangled the second time around 😀

  2. This was so good, wasn't it? (I used the spinach stuffing as well). I was hoping it wouldn't be that good, because now everyone wants me to make it again…

    Love the color on your chicken.

  3. korenainthekitchen.com says:

    Amazing! I've had a boned-out, rolled and stuffed turkey on my list for a while but this seems a bit more manageable. Jacques Pepin is a master!!

  4. LOL – I think I'll be mangling more chickens, too!! Your ballotine looks AMAZING.

  5. I'm so impressed! This looks great. I was too.. ahem… chicken to attempt this one, but your description of how good it was may make me change my mind and at some point in the future give it a go. Nice job!

  6. That looks delicious! How long did it take to debone the chicken?

  7. Haha, I foresee a lot of chicken mangling in my future too. Your chicken looks great – so juicy & packed with stuffing-y goodness. Such a beautiful golden colour on the skin too.

    Congratulations on baby number two, by the way! x

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