A ballotine, which means ‘bundle’, is a French dish made of deboned meat fish or poultry (sometimes the whole animal) filled with stuffing and then rolled and tied into a bundle. It is roasted, poached or braised, and can be served hot or cold.
Overwhelmed by curiosity, I tried my hand at it. After removing the bone from a chicken thigh, I packed some wine-soaked dried fruits in it, and proceeded to roll it into tight bundle. I poached it for eight minutes before pan-roasting it in a mixture of foaming butter and dry white wine. Once done, cutting it into thick slices to expose its beauty became much of a moment of truth.
The fruits in the center were a little too sweet for the bird but nonetheless, was well-balanced with arugula and chilli. I should make a sauce next time. Preferably something slightly spicy and definitely something rich.
Endless possibility beckons.
Today, I choose option #4.
1. Piperies Yemistes
2. Psari a la Spetsiota
3. Scorthalia Salata
4. All of the Above
1. Piperies Yemistes (Stuffed Peppers)
- The sweet yet peppery twang of the capsicums merging completely with grainy rice, earthy with the taste of mushrooms and onions
- And the flowery aroma of sage and thyme
- With the occasional treat of bittersweet charred bits of vegetable
2. Psari a la Spetsiota (Baked Fish “Greek Island”)
- The sour and savoury created by the tease of white wine and vinegar
- The playful wholeness of rosemary and garlic – a match made in heaven
- How your teeth sinks into each bite, greeting a crisp crunch of breadcrumbs, followed by a plunge into the tender white fish
3. Scorthalia Salata (Garlic Sauce Salad)
- All of the flavours above appropriately punctuated by nutty wild rocket leaves and clean watercress, sitting in a sour garlic peanut sauce.
Where their powers combined, a time machine was created; I am transported back to Santorini in Greece.