Summer's End 2023
Street Food
Ingleborough Viaduct

This week I will be mostly eating street food.

Chinese Chicken Ballotine
main fowl oriental
My Kirklees College Cookery Course tutor Aaron showed me another way of de-boning a chicken that involves a lot more cutting than peeling.
Starting with removing the spine, as for spatchcocking, scraping free the skeleton, then also slicing along the legs and wings to remove their bones and spread their flesh flat. As opposed to just pulling out their bones to leave little fleshy socks.
The result was flatter with more surface area than before, but in my case somewhat messier. Though perhaps you lose less meat on the skeleton. Maybe.
You also don't have the convenient leg stubs to help with tying it into a roll.

Since I already had Chinese-y ingredients on hand as a part of the rest of the class, that's what I used for my stuffing.

Serves 4

First de-bone your chicken.
Lay it out flat. Season generously inside and out, and if you have the time, leave overnight in the fridge.
You can also rub a little bicarbonate of soda into the chicken to tenderise it. You will need to wash that off if you use very much though, or you'll be able to taste it. And it's better to make this with a dry chicken. Hence leaving it overnight in the fridge.

Make the stuffing by frying the shredded ginger and sliced shiitake in a little oil until the mushrooms have nicely wilted.
Stir through some five spice powder, then deglaze the pan with rice vinegar and a dash of soy sauce, reducing so the mixture is not wet.
Mix with the rest of the stuffing ingredients.
I'm not absolutely sure you need to pre-fry the mushrooms, but they do hold a lot of moisture.
Also I forgot the damn sticky rice!
And that was the main thing I went shopping for!
Oh well.
Lay the chicken skin-side down, sprinkle with more five spice powder, cover with a layer of pancetta slices, then spread over the stuffing. Not too much - you need to be able to roll it!
If I could have found some, I'd have tried to incorporate Chinese sausage instead of the pancetta. But I live in a culinary desert 😢.
Roll up the chicken from the wing/leg sides a sheet of clingfilm is useful for holding everything together, and tie up with string - not too tightly and after removing any clingfilm!.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Fry the rolled chicken on all sides in duck fat or oil until nicely coloured, lay on a rack over a roasting tin (or the oven-proof frying pan) and roast for 45-60 minutes, until cooked through and golden.
Serve with a salad made from some of your spare stuffing ingredients dressed with sesame seeds and sesame oil, and some hoisin or satay sauce.
Really good.
My stuffing was a bit wet and leaky, but it still cooked just fine.
Did I mention that I forgot the sticky rice??

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