Chicken Ballotine with Bourbon-Caramelized Chorizo & Porcini Rice Stuffing

MAY 2020

 The word Ballottinne or Ballotine is French in origin, from the word "balle" which means package. A ballotine is a rolled deboned meat with stuffing which is either then poached, roasted or braised.   The first recorded culinary preparation of ballotine was in 1846.

A good example of this in today's cuisine is the American Turducken.

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The Bourbon-caramelized Chorizo & Porcini Rice Stuffing

This rice stuffing is easy to prepare as it is pan fried with the finished product emulating the flavors of paella. You may use any type of rice you have available in your pantry. In this dish I used the USA grown Japonika rice variety, Calrose. Its tender and sticky texture makes ballotine-tying much easier to secure and all together makes for a nice delicious and moist surprise at the core of the deboned poultry. 

Ingredients

3 tbsp Garlic (minced)

1 large Onion (minced)

1 cup Carrots (minced)

1 cup Green Peas 

1/2 cup Chorizo

1/2 cup *Chicken Bits

1/2 cup Porcini Mushrooms (chopped)

1/2 cup Roasted Bell Peppers (pureed)

4 cups Steamed Rice

1 shot  **Bourbon of Choice

As Needed: Canola Oil

To Taste: Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

* Scraps from the meat during deboning

** I used Benchmark Old No. 8 for its sweetness & orange notes 

Instructions

  1. Heat the canola oil on high heat and sauté the chorizo until crisp to extract the fat. Add the chicken bits and continue cooking until firm. Strain the meats & set aside. 

  2. Using the same chorizo fat oil & canola oil, saute the garlic until golden brown. Add the Onions and continue to cook until caramelized. Pour the bourbon to deglaze the flavors on the pan and add the rice. 

  3.  Add in all the ingredients including the proteins and continue to mix homogenously on high heat (the pepper puree should evenly coat the rice). 

  4.  Salt and pepper to taste continue to mix. Mix and cook for at least 5 minutes. Set aside for stuffing.

 

The Poultry

Deboning a whole chicken is easier than it sounds. All you need is a good knife and patience. I found the culinary educator and legendary chef Jacques Pepin's video online to be most helpful.

Instructions

Cover the chicken oil all over with oil. This will lock in the juices and keep your meat moist as you roast. Season the insides with salt and pepper.

 

  1. Set your oven at 450F and prepare the roasting pan. 

  2. Spoon your rice stuffing on the inner side of the chicken and distribute evenly. Estimate the right amount to keep the stuffing from coming out. Follow the instructions on the link on how to tie the ballotine. You may use the cooking string, stainless pins or the combination of both to help you secure the meat. 

  3.  After tying the ballotine, season it evenly around with salt and pepper. Position the chicken on the pan to roast.

  4.  Roasting time is around 40 min., revolving your chicken on all four sides and basting with salt and pepper infused oil as you go or when the skin is golden brown.

  5. When done, rest the chicken for 8 to 10 min to keep the juices in. Slice to desired thickness and serve. Extra stuffing may be served on the side.

The Pairing:

Blue Note Bourbon

9 year old unfiltered

ABV 46.5

I find the flavors and oily mouthfeel of this Tennessee bourbon most welcome as an after dinner pour. The botanical and citrus notes cleanses the palate of the chicken fat. The creaminess and sweetness of it like liquid dessert perfectly caps the ballotine dinner. 

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