Yesterday I decided to take on the daunting task of completely de-boning a whole chicken to make what is known as a Ballantine (Ballotine) – I am still not sure which is the correct spelling, but lucky for me this is a cooking blog and not a literary one.
Since this was my first time attempting this process I looked to the master, Chef Jacques Pépin. The video link posted below is nothing less than incredible, it’s like watching Michelangelo sculpt the statue of David….only in this case, David is a 5 pound chicken.
I followed his instructions step by step and my chicken was de-boned to perfection. Of course Chef makes it look like child’s play, which after a few four-letter words and some deep breaths, I learned was a little more difficult than he makes it appear.
Either way, the chicken came out awesome! I decided to stuff it with my mom’s classic Thanksgiving stuffing recipe because with this recent NYC fall-like weather, I have been craving the tastes of Thanksgiving.
I plan to make this Ballantine again in the future for Sunday Football, but plan to go along the flavor profile of Buffalo Chicken!
If you’re looking for a great way to get to know the anatomy and structure of a chicken, this is an awesome way to try! The best part is, I was able to use all the bones and carcass of the chicken to make a homemade Stock from which I then made a delicious gravy to serve alongside my Ballantine!
Click the link Below for Chef Pépin's Video on how to de-bone and stuff and whole chicken:
De-Boned Whole Chicken Stuffed with Sausage and Roasted