If you have some friends coming for dinner, this is a great make-ahead main course that’s sure to impress!
Ingredients (makes 4)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 glove of garlic, crushed
- 8 sun dried tomatoes, finely diced
- 12 large fresh basil leaves
- 4 chicken breasts
- 8 slices of Serrano ham
Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the onion & garlic and sweat down for 8 mins. Remove from the heat and stir in the diced sun dried tomatoes; set aside and allow to cool completely.
Sandwich the chicken breasts (separately) between layers of clingfilm and, using a rolling pin, bash them until they are flattened and less than 1/2 cm thick- set aside on a large plate and season with salt & pepper.
To make your ballotines, add two table spoons of the onion & tomato mixture to each of your flattened chicken breasts and spread out – place three basil leaves as shown. Roll the chicken breast to create a large sausage and then place on two slices of Serrano ham, laid side by side on a large sheet of clingfilm, wrap the chicken completely with the ham.
Place the ballotine at one end of the clingfilm, nearest to you, and then hold the film against the ballotine; roll it up along the full length of the film. Next, holding the two ends of the film, roll the ballotine (always forwards) and using the friction of the film against your worktop, the ballotine will compress into the right shape. Carefully tie a knot in each end of the film as tightly as you can so there is no air and it retains its shape. Place on a clean plate and pop in the fridge until needed.
To cook, bring a large pan of water to the boil and then reduce o a steady simmer. Place the ballotines into the water cook for 15-20 mins. Remove with kitchen tongs, snip one end of the film and, holding the other end, release any juices & water over a bowl and discard, you can then place the ballotine on your chopping board ready to carve. (you can either cut into disks as shown, or slice a little off each end and then one diagonal cut so you have to pieces which will stand up on your chose plates).
You can serve with your vegetables & potatoe of choice; we often serve with a red-pepper sauce and with fresh mushroom ravioli or with saffron & chive duchess potatoes.
Bon Apétit !