A ballotine is traditionally a boned thigh part of the chicken, duck or other poultry stuffed with forcemeat and other ingredients. It is tied to hold its shape and sometimes stitched up with a trussing needle. A ballotine is cooked by roasting, braising or poaching and in recent years with increasing access to domestic versions of commercial kitchen equipment they can be cooked in a variety of ways. I bought a Sous Vide oven (or water bath) a couple of years ago and just love the way protein stays juicy and tender using this method. Sous Vide, a French term, literally translates to Under Empty or Under Vacuum, as this is the first part of the process.
The rolled meat is sealed in a vacuum bag then placed in the water bath at low temperatures for prolonged periods – often up to 12 hours but not always that long. Once removed from the sealed bag the protein can be quickly fried to caramelise and crisp the outside but this is a choice not a necessity. Check the Base Recipes for a Ballotine guide.
Here is what you need to get started:-
- The Water Ovens range in price and capacity – I purchased the larger one and love it!
- Plus you will need a food saver – these starters kits are fantastic value:
- Last but not least a Sous Vide cookbook