“The word ballontine comes from the French ballot, meaning bundle, a neat parcel of stuffing encased in lean, boneless poultry meat.”
Jeni Wright, Eric Treuille: Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cooking Techniques (New York: William Morrow And Company, Inc., 1996), 96.
Note: 1) if desired, reduce inexpensive wines or cooking wines; fine cooking wines can be great for learning to appreciate something, 2) reduce wine by boiling it on the stove, measure the wine often with a (glass) measuring cup
I was looking at the Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques when I saw ballontines  and galantines . They are deboned chickens that are stuffed, rolled, and tied to create a meat roll. In some books, a ballontine is braised, and a gallatine is poached. In other books, a ballontine can also be poached. Jacque Pépin also calls a ballotine a chicken sausage or a poulet en saucisse. Knowing these terms may be useful for searching for information. I used the recipe of Jacques Pépin from the website of Rachael Ray for Jacques Pepin’s Chicken Ballottine Stuffed with Spinach, Cheese and Bread Stuffing. I used shredded gruyère and the croûtons that I made last week! The croutons were made with brioche and French bread that I made in my kitchen.
The ballontine was moist and the sauce was very exciting and savory. The flavor of the stuffing made with croûtons, spinach, and gruyère was delicate and flavorful. Gruyère may be a mild cheese that has the complex and nutty flavors of popular cheeses from Switzerland. The flavor of gruyere may not be strong. I added fat to the sauce, but the pictures demonstrate that I removed the fat from the liquid I made from the drippings (with a spoon). This was my first experience eating food exciting enough for a banquet. I am privileged to have this recipe. I will make this again. It was very exciting.
The smashed potatoes are a recipe of Thomas Keller. They are potatoes tossed in oil and butter with thyme that are served with garlic confit. Without having experience using the French language, I believe that something confit is preserved or candied . Garlic confit tastes similarly to candy. The garlic is heated without being too caramelized . The garlic becomes sweet and it melts in the mouth. I made this twice. The first time I used more heat and the cloves became golden, but they did not brown. The second time, I used less heat and the cloves were less golden. The golden cloves were more sweet since they were caramelized.
The smashed potatoes were exciting. The combination of thyme and chives with butter and garlic comfit is French and timeless. Since this is French food, the potatoes were intentionally cooked without being browned. The flavor of the potatoes was sweet and earthy. I used a medley of fingerling potatoes. The flavor of the potatoes may have been too strong. The recipe instructs people to use marble potatoes. Marble potatoes may indicate the size of the potatoes . Small potatoes may be small because they are harvested early. Where I shop, the potatoes in the picture in the book appear to be “gold creamers.”
Chicken Ballontine With Smashed Potatoes
Chicken Ballottine Of Jacques Pépin
One Extra Loop To Close The End
1. Jeni Wright, Eric Treuille: Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cooking Techniques (New York: William Morrow And Company, Inc., 1996), 96.
2. Jacques Pépin: Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques (New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2001), 124-126, 563-566.
3. Thomas Keller: ad hoc at home (New York: Artisan, 2009), 224, 266, 337, 342.