Ballotine de Poulet Recipe from our Gascony Cooking Vacation
The southern region of Gascony in France is known for its culinary prestige and traditions, in no small part due to the abundance of duck foie gras as well as roquefort cheese (“the king of cheeses”). But duck isn’t the only game on the menu. Chicken is also a part of their diet, and during our Cooking in Gascony culinary vacation, guests will have the chance to learn about boning a chicken, as well as learning firsthand on how to make this dish, ballotine de poulet, along with the sauce that traditionally goes with it.
If you’d like to give this delicious dish a try before heading to Gascony for a cooking class, here’s a recipe from Chefs David and Bernard.
- 1 oven-ready chicken (about 3 1/3 lbs)
- 170 grams (about 3/4 cup) onion
- 200 grams (just over 7 ounces) pork, minced
- Sage, chopped (to taste)
- Parsley, chopped (to taste)
- 40 grams (just under 1.5 ounces) breadcrumbs
- Egg, to bind
- 300 ml demi glace
- 100 grams mushrooms, chopped
- 100 grams carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stick, chopped
- 1 teaspoon tomato puree
- 140 ml red wine
- 100 ml port
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 100 grams onion, chopped
- 25 grams dried wild mushrooms, chopped
- 80 grams fresh wild mushrooms
- Bay leaf
1. Start by boning out the whole chicken.
2. Make a brown stock using the chicken bones, as well as make the demi-glace sauce. Reserve both.
3. In a bowl, put the dried wild mushrooms, and cover them with hot water. Once they’ve softened, strain the mushrooms and reserved the stock (as it’ll be a soaking liquid). Chop the fresh mushrooms.
4. Start making the stuffing. To do this, chop the onions and then cook them until they soften. Mix i the pork, herbs, crumbs, and seasoning. To this mixture, add the egg to bind. This meaty mixture is called a ‘farce.’ Spread the farce on the chicken, and then roll and tie the chicken.
5. Roast the chicken at 180°C (350°F) for about 90 minutes, basting the chicken occasionally.
6. Return to the sauce, sauté the onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, garlic, and the softened dried wild mushrooms until everything is soft. Then add in the tomato puree.
7. Next pour the wine, port, and mushroom stock into the sauce, and reduce by half.
8. Add the demi glace, bay leaf, and thyme, and cook it well.
9. Strain the sauce and return it to the pan. Add the fresh wild mushrooms and season.
10. Continue cooking the sauce until the correct consistency is achieved.
The cooking vacation to Gascony includes four hands-on cooking classes, as well as visits to local producers.
By Liz Hall
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