Recipe: Chicken Ballottines with Sage & Pancetta

Serves 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 Whole chicken legs
  • 100g Chopped mushrooms
  • 200g Sausage meat
  • 20 Rashers pancetta
  • 1 Bunch fresh sage
  • Pomace oil
  • 100g Unsalted butter

Method

  1. Firstly, neaten the ends of the drumsticks. Using a small sharp knife make a cut around each chicken leg, about 4cm up from the knuckle end. Holding the leg like a gun, squeeze the skin tight, and then scrape down to the bottom of the bone to remove the tendons and clean the bone, turn the leg as you go. Now position your knife across the bottom of the exposed bone and bash the knife the bone will break smoothly.
  2. Lay the chicken legs skin side down, pull the flaps of skin back and cut the flesh with a very sharp knife small knife on either side of the thighbone using a shaving action. Once the bone is exposed, prise it out then twist and snap it with your fingers to free it from the drumstick. If it does not snap clean, you may have to cut it. You now have a part boned chicken leg.
  3. Lightly sauté the mushrooms in a little oil for about 5 minutes, season well and leave to cool. When cooled add the sausage meat and chopped sage. Push the mixture with your fingers right to the top of the thigh, then close the flaps and pull the skin across to secure. Now roll the legs over to make the parcels as neat as possible, then hold the exposed bone and straighten out each leg.
  4. Cut four sheets of foil enough to wrap each leg comfortably. Lay 5 rashers of pancetta onto the centre of each sheet, then put the chicken legs crossways over the pancetta, then roll the the legs in the foil tightly into a cylinder shape twist to make a cracker like shape.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200c, place the chicken parcels on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes turning them twice. Turn the oven down to 160c and roast for a further 30 minutes, probe to ensure that the core temperature is 75c, then remove and allow to stand for 10 minutes unwrap the foil.
  6. Heat some oil and butter in a non-stick sauté pan until hot then put the chicken legs in the pan and brown over a high heat on all sides, basting frequently and turning with a pair of tongs add some more butter to brown remove from the pan allow to rest.
  7. Cut the stuffed end of the thigh on a diagonal into thick slices and serve.

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