Sometimes, you just have to believe (Daring Cooks April '12: Ballotine)

Now, we have had this conversation in the past...

Whole chickens kind of freak me out.

When I saw this this month's Daring Cook challenge was to debone a chicken, I am not going to lie - I seriously thought about giving it a bye.

But since I have already survived roasting and spatchcocking, I knew that I would be really disappointed in myself if I didn't at least try to debone.

After all, challenges like this are exactly the reason I started cooking along with The Daring Cooks...

So, I watched the YouTube video of Jacques Pepin de-boning and trussing the chicken over and over again. I could listen to that man talk for hours. By the time I finished, I was almost convinced that I could do it.

I dragged the Culinary Kid along for the ride - she had already deboned a chicken in her culinary class. (Seriously, the girl is 17 and she's already deboned a chicken. If she can do it, then why can't I? Of course, she also thinks that dissecting frogs in biology is fun...)

So, let's get to it!

I cheated and called in the reinforcements to handle the trussing.

I opted for the spinach (and Swiss chard) filling with bread cubes from an olive boule that I had made and lots of Gruyere cheese. It was all topped off with the option red wine sauce.

It was good. Really, really good.

Besides, I totally deboned a chicken - and totally kept my cool throughout the whole process.

That, my friends, is an accomplishment.

Peace out.

This post participates in The Daring Cooks. For the April Daring Cooks Challenge, Lisa from Parsley, Sage and Sweet has challenged us to debone a whole chicken, using this video by Jacques Pepin as our guide; then stuff it, tie it and roast it, to create a Chicken Ballotine.


  1. 17 your kid already deboned a chicken in culinary class? They're moving fast these days! I'm so glad you decided not take a bye, and and did it. It looks gorgeous and absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for 'deboning' with me!! (Hmmm..that might not sound right) lol

  2. Well at least you have caught up with you 17 year old on the deboning front at least LOL LOL. Your sliced ballotine looks wonderful well done. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  3. It is definitely an accomplishment. Nice job!

  4. Hi, Cher! I saw this last night, but it was so late and I was so very tired that I had to try to get just a few more comments in on the financiers before going to bed...Congratulations on your first deboning chicken!! You did a wonderful job and I love that it was truly a family affair. I have not had a Ballotine before but it looks wonderful.

  5. I am amazed that your daughter has already de-boned a chicken! I was terrified of this for so long but I really had no need to be. Great job and good for you on your beautiful boneless chicken!

  6. Well done !!!!! You're right, deboning a chicken can be scarry but that's why Daring Cooks are here :)

  7. One advantage of being vegetarian is that I'll never have to debone a chicken again. ;) But I can say that my first time did not turn out half as neatly as yours. And that trussing - well done. I'm impressed!

  8. You even made the lollipops! Great job Cher, it makes me want to do it too. I can also listen to J.Pepin talk for hours. This is one recipe I really want to do.

  9. Yes yes yes! It is totally an accomplishment! Honestly it's on of the things I'm most proud of that I've ever cooked, including birthday cakes, wedding cakes and the rest. Yours looks fantastic - and very professional. And it sounds like your daughter has the makings of a culinary legend, if she's already mastered deboning by 17!

  10. Holy smokes, the cod roulades this week would have been a breeze for you after this. Well done!

  11. I am so impressed, Cher…a job well done! Your entire dish look wonderfully delicious! Congrats!!

  12. I am beyond and totally impressed. I always shoved this duty off to my surgeon husband. Sooo, it's time i polished my skills. Maybe when I f-i-n-a-l-l-y get settled, I should become a Daring Cook. Well done, Cher.


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