Ballotine of Chicken breast with Spinach and Mushrooms

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This was super easy and looks pretty professional at the end, apart from the failed, exploded breast…  Quite gutted I didn’t take a picture of it for the future (no-doubt lengthy) failed recipes blog post.  I made up the recipe, stuffed the chicken with a wilted mixture of spinach, mushrooms, fresh breadcrumbs, garlic and pecorino.

I referred to a few different internet pages about the rolling technique but sadly didn’t see the tip to cling film it, foil it and then cling it, clearly the way forward.  The leaky breast was still edible and I poached it in stock so it didn’t totally lose flavour.  There was a general consensus to cook your raw veggie fillings first, I guess so they don’t lyse their cells and end up all watery in your tightly rolled breasts.

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One difficult thing is the cooking time, you can see it’s a bit dry, though you can’t see the extra gravy I smothered it in after!  25-30mins on a simmer should do it, as you’ve got to fry it to get the golden outside anyway.

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The mushrooms were enoki and shimeji, just sautéed like regular mushrooms but they look fancier being more exotic than a button mushroom.  Cook mushrooms till they’ve just changed in colour and you can cleanly bite through not till water is coming out of them.  This isn’t a definitive rule, just overcooked mushrooms are sad in your mouth.  Sufferers of an over-grilled mushroom in a fry-up know what I’m talking about.

Anywhooo, this is an easy method for tricking your diners into thinking you did something incredibly difficult, which of course is always the aim.  I’d probably try a few different stuffing next time, maybe goat’s cheese (my all-time favourite) and flame-roasted peppers.  Then you could cut a slice of each different breast stuffing and look even more accomplished.

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