Chicken Ballotine

I’m so late with this post I almost didn’t do it at all. Fortunately my good twitter pal @dabblings kept after me to get it posted and I appreciate her prodding!

I have to say that this was one of the scariest projects we’ve done all year as a part of #Charcutepalooza. The horror stories of sliced thumbs and the ick of scraping fat from the underside of the skin of a chicken were almost enough to keep me from even trying it. Then something happened. I went looking for examples of prepping the chicken and found my hero @jacques_pepin giving his always excellent technique. I watched the following video about a dozen times over a week before getting up the nerve to go for it: http://youtu.be/kAekQ5fzfGM.

I combined his technique with my sausage skills and filled the chicken with merguez sausage. The smell as it cooked was just heavenly! It tasted pretty darn good too! I will say that while my dad and I thought it was great, my mom wishes I’d mixed the sausage with bread crumbs or something to lighten the texture of it a little. 

Taking the chicken off of the carcass went very smoothly and quickly.

Removing the leg, thigh, and wing bones took a little more time but also went very smooth. 

I was careful to push some sausage into the legs as @jacques_pepin recommended in the video. 

I trussed the chicken with a half hitch, just like in the video. 

I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and gave it a quick sear before putting it in the oven. Notice the butternut squash I cooked to go with it. 

The chicken came out of the oven looking perfect.

First slice…

The final product was moist and tasty.