Crispy Chicken Ballotine

The Taste UK and Me!
This was my first ever recipe cooked on TV The Taste 2014, which we now know I won, this recipe got me through the 25 contestants to 12 on Episode 1. Got me to Mentor Chef Ludo Lefevbre and his crazy method of teaching, the experience was incredible and I hope you enjoy making this dish as much as I still do.

Watch the episodes here
The Taste UK 2014 Episodes- watch here

Serves 2


  • 2 x 270g chicken breasts
  • 15g dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 175g banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 50g fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 50g fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • 150g wild mushrooms, finely chopped
  • French butter
  • Rapeseed oil, for frying
  • 200ml fresh double cream
  • 75g lamb mince
  • 1 tsp za’tar
  • Dash of truffle oil

For the poaching stock

  • 1 litre hot water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sprig each of tarragon and fresh thyme

For the panko crust

  • 200g panko breadcrumbs
  • 100g Parmigiano-Reggiano DOP, grated
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 25g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Grating of black truffle

For the mushroom sauce

  • 25g French butter
  • 4 tbsp white wine
  • 15g wild mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 15g wood ear mushrooms, soaked and chopped
  • 100ml double cream


1. Butterfly the chicken breasts, then cover with clingfilm and beat flat using a rolling pin. Set aside.

2. Soak the wood ear mushrooms in 200ml of water, then drain and finely chop.

3. Sauté the shallots, herbs and both types of mushrooms in the butter and rapeseed oil. Once cooked down add 125ml of cream.

4. Next heat some more oil and fry the mince and za’tar until browned. Stir in the truffle oil and remove from the heat.

5. While the lamb is cooking bring the ingredients for the poaching stock to the boil.

6. Place each piece of chicken on a fresh sheet of clingfilm and spoon the sauté mixture onto the middle, followed by the lamb. Using the clingfilm to help, roll the meat tightly around the filling and twist the ends to ensure each roll is tightly sealed.

7. Lower the chicken ballotines into the poaching stock and poach for 20-25 minutes.

8. While the chicken is poaching make the panko crust. Mix the breadcrumbs, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, herbs and some salt and pepper in a bowl.

9. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, milk and salt and pepper, and in another bowl mix the seasoned flour with the black truffle.

10. Once the chicken is cooked lift out of the stock and allow to cool slightly before removing the clingfilm.

11. Dip each piece in flour, then egg, then the crumbs.

12. Sauté in the rapeseed oil and butter until golden brown on all aides (keep turning so you have even colour).

13. Whilst sautéing the chicken ballotine start the sauce. Using the mushroom pan, add the butter and white wine and reduce to cook off the alcohol.

14. Add some of the poaching stock, the mushrooms, cream, and fresh chopped herbs and cook down until as thick as you like.

15. To serve, place the crispy chicken ballotine on plate, pour over the mushroom sauce and serve immediately.


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