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Nov 12, 2010 02:32 AM

Chicken Ballotine Questions

I followed the high priest of awesome knifeskills (Jacque Pepin) point by point instructions for making a chicken gallontine/ballantine and was able to successfully bone out a whole chicken. I stuffed with with a mushroom duxelle cooked with heavy cream, sherry, and thyme until mostly dry, rolled and tied it...Looked great, though the grey mushrooms inside weren't the prettiest things in the world.

Though Jacque's method and explanation was flawless, he never did say what temp. to roast the bird at or what internal temp it should be when he pulls it out. I roasted mine at 425 (i'm a high heat kinda gal) and began to baste with my soy/maple glaze when it reached 140, then pulled it out of the oven at 160. It was good, but I thought it a tad dry. I searched the internet for recipes and got varying heats (350, 400) though no internal temp read out.

Any of you tried this and found a good heat/time/temp? or have a better stuffing recipe?

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  1. I have not made it, but 425 does seem too high. I would do it at 350.

    BTW you may want to have the CH Team correct the title of your thread to "Ballotine" so that it does come up in a search.

    1. The correct term for poultry is "galantine." A ballotine is made with meat, as in calf, lamb, ham, etc. And if dear sweet Jacques Pepin ROASTED a galantine of chicken, then the poor dear has fallen off one too many truffles! TRUE galantine of chicken is deboned, stuffed (pretty much as you describe), then rolled in cheesecloth that is secured at both ends, the galantine is then placed in a kettle and covered completely in stock with knuckle bones added or other cartilaginous pieces to promote a stock that will gel when the galantine is finished and the stock is clarified. The galantine of chicken is often simmered under weights, or may be cooled under weights. An effort is made to retain some resemblance to the original bird's shape. After simmering and cooling, the muslin is removed and the bird is masked with a thick white glaze. And then the fun begins...!

      It may be served with just the white glaze decorated with a few cutouts from the jellied stock, and with cubes of the jellied stock piled around it. Or.... I've been making chicken galantine for <sigh> a LOT of years now, usually for fancy schmancy parties or holiday buffets. When I get as far as the white glaze above, I decorate it with a variety of things. One style that is on the classic side was to use diamond shapes (fairly large) of eggplant peel and lay them on the bird in a harlequin (diamond) pattern, then glaze with the clear jelly made with the stock. More often than not I decorated mine with a bouquet of flowers trailing across it made from pimiento, black truffles, black olives (if the budget was weak), hard boiled eggs (white and/or yolks), chives, young tender celery leaves, and whatever else lent itself to the overall design. It was then masked again but this time with the clear "gelee" made from the stock, A thin layer of jelled stock was at the ready and cut into tiny cubes that were then piled around the bird on the serving platter and looked for all the world like small sparkling gems.

      It is a lovely and beautiful dish, time consuming to make but can be done ahead of time and preserved under plastic wrap. Both Careme's and Escoffier's recipes call for black Perigord truffles by the freaking kilo! I have never followed either of their recipes. Sometimes I would make a second sausage shaped galantine to slice thinly and set around the fancy one, then when it was almost gone I would step in and slice the fancy one.

      For all of its appearance of being expensive when you read the recipe, it goes a very long way so that in the end it's not that expensive. The first time I served it and there were leftovers, I thought no one liked it until I began getting requests for the recipe. When I asked people why they hadn't eaten more, they said it was fantastic but rich and they ate with their eyes first so they weren't all that hungry by the time they got it on their fork. Traditionally, it is a cold dish. I used to also do ballotines of ham decorated and served in the same way.

      Are you absolutely SURE Jacques Pepin ROASTED his? That's mind blowing for me. Maybe the reason he didn't give a temperature is because he assumed the audience understood you cook it at a simmer. Did you maybe tune in late?

      10 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1

        Actually I think it is the cooking method and serving temperature that dictates the name. A ballotine can be roasted and served warm, while a galantine is poached and served cold.

        1. re: knecht

          yes, but neither is a "ballantine!" ;)

          Actually, I thought both of them were poached.

          1. re: knecht

            Then I'll grab a pencil and correct my Larousse Gastronomique! '-)

            Unfortunately there is a TON of misinformation on the web about galantines and ballotines. But the traditional terminology from the times when they were required culinary treats at big parties and such, in other words back when Escoffier, and Careme before him, were THE culinary super stars of their times, it was the type of protein that dictated the term. I just did a search of the web looking for a ballotine of ham with the decorations under gelee, and this is the best I could come up with:
            It's attractive, but lacks the floral drama and the tiny dice of aspic around it. But it does give an idea of what I'm talking about.

            Ballotines (meat, not poultry) can be served any temperature from hot to chilled. Of course, if you want to robe it in aspic and do the fancy stuff, it ain't gonna work on a hot ballotine! I guess galantines and ballotines are sort of like Tom Colicchio and Parker House rolls. No one seems to get the terminology right these days! '-)

            1. re: Caroline1

              "Then I'll grab a pencil and correct my Larousse Gastronomique! '-)"

              No need, the entry for "ballottine" reads "A hot or cold dish based on meat, poultry, game birds, or fish in aspic. The flesh is boned, stuffed, rolled, and tied up with string, usually wrapped in muslin---sometimes the skin---then braised or poached". There follow recipes for ballotines of chicken, chicken again, duck, guinea fowl, lamb, pork, veal, chicken again, lamb, eel, eel, eel, and chicken.

              The entry for "galantine" suggests that it's the shape, not the meat, that determines the name: "Galantines are sometimes cooked wrapped in a cloth, which gives them a cylindrical shape; they should then, strictly speaking, be called ballottines." This makes sense, given that a "ballot" is a bundle or little ball.

              This is the 1984 edition.

            2. re: knecht

              ballottine is a stuffed leg of poultry . e.g you would stuff a turkey legs with sausage meat,chest nuts etc etc and then sew it up and roast it. there are many other cooking methods. gallotine is where you stuff the whole bird. your a 2nd chef you should know that.

            3. re: Caroline1

              Caroline1, as usual, your post is both entertaining and educational. How I wish I could have been one of your guests! And as someone else has previously said, it only takes a line or two to know a post is yours.

                1. re: GretchenS

                  "And as someone else has previously said, it only takes a line or two to know a post is yours."

                  That someone else was I. The same thing happened again when I was reading Caroline's first post above. She comes across as knowledgeable, without sounding condescending, while tickling your funny bone.

                2. re: Caroline1

                  if i recall correctly, Jacque kept saying "ballontine/ galantine", as he was mostly stating how to debone said chix, not just how to cook it, though he did mention roasting it in the oven. I was surprised at how easy it was to do (and how pretty it looked when it was done).

                  I'm doing this for thanksgiving and a poached bird (esp. one covered/served with aspic) will not suit the day or my audience. My next attempt will be in a 375 oven till 145, then glazed with maple/soy (unless i hear differently), and pulled at 160...
                  This is the video from his techniques series

                3. When I saw the title I thought it was going to be a beer can chicken thread! ;)

                  1. here's a pic of my finished bird (still tied and with thyme under the trussing)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sixelagogo

                      Looks pretty good, first attempt? Nice color on the bird and good shape. Don't worry about the grey mushrooms, that's the cream. The classic stuffing is a mousseline forcemeat, which always contains cream. The internal temp should be around 160° when done, and it really should be poached, but you won't get the lovely color yours has. Poach then sear? Just a thought for a less dry result. I like your glaze idea.

                      Now for the technical stuff:

                      Galantines and ballotines fall under the culinary heading of roulade, although not all roulades are g and b. Ballatine is a brand of Scotch, btw.

                      Galantine = a meat, poultry or fish boned, stuffed with forcemeat, rolled and tied, poached and served at room temp or cold, or just forcemeat, rolled into a sausage shape in parchment and poached.

                      Ballotine = a galantine served hot, either poached or roasted.

                      That's my understanding of the very basic preparation technique and difference between the two, as I was taught in culinary school. Beyond that, there are many choices of protein, variations of stuffing, methods of finishing for service, like Caroline1 lovingly writes about, even M. Pepin's choice of roasting over poaching, stretching the roulade definition even farther.

                      I've made galantine of duck, poached and served cold, stuffing of duck farci, strips of smoked ham and turkey breast, and pistachios, glazed with a clear aspic, and served with a black currant sauce. Fun, boning out a raw duck at 6 am.

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