I plan to to make a chicken Ballantine (boned, stuffed, and rolled whole chicken). I've got the boning out part down, but have questions about cooking: At what temperature should I cook it? What internal temp should it be when i take it out of the oven? Should I baste? Finally, have any suggestions for a stuffing?

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sixelagogo November 12, 2010
I think i'll reduce the oven temp next time, per your instructions...I'm a high heat kinda gal, though think this might do better with a cooler oven. ..i was mostly worried about the carryover cooking and pulled it at 162, then waited about 20 minutes before carving, assuming it would reach the 165 during the rest period.
It was me, my macbook, Jacques Pepin Youtube video and a knife that was able to do the boning out above...not nearly as hard as it seems (and kinda fun if you like cutting meat).
Thanks bettie for the ballantine/gallantine explanation- never understood the diff. between the 2
betteirene November 12, 2010
pierino and sixelagogo, you're both right: "ballotine" and "galantine" are two ways to cook a whole chicken that has had its bones removed..

A “ballot” (Fr. for "package" or "bundle") is a boned, flattened poultry or fish fillet that is stuffed (usually with a bread- or rice-based dressing with mushrooms), rolled and tied into a bundle and roasted, then served hot with sauce or gravy. Galantine also begins with a boned, flattened meat, most often poultry, but it is usually stuffed with some sort of pate or meatloaf with mushrooms or olives and is poached, then chilled for serving.

Cooking time and temp depends on whether or not you sear it first on the stovetop. I assume you won't, in which case it should go into a 350-375 degree oven for an hour and a half or until it reaches 160 degrees in its center; remove from the oven, lay a piece of foil over it and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. It will finish cooking and the temp will come up to 165 degrees during this rest period, and the juices will be less likely to leak all over the cutting board. If you roast until the internal temp reaches 165, the finished temp will leave you high (170 degrees) and dry.

Kayb, you don't have to have the knife skills of a master chef to bone (or de-bone) a turkey. You only need about an hour and a copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child. Thanks to her detailed how-to, I was able to do it when I was about 20 (40 years ago) with dull 1960s stainless steel knives and no poultry scissors. I still remember how proud I was of my young self back then.

Jacques Pepin can do it in less than a minute--videos of this are all over the web. But Julia. . .all she had to do was wave a knife over the poultry and it would de-bone itself. (Thank you, Chuck Norris.)

pierino November 12, 2010
A turkey breast is actually really easy to bone out. But it does help to have very sharp and flexible boning knife. All you really need to do is to follow the connections between bone and flesh. There aren't a whole lot of nasty little bones to worry about. And then save that breast bone and any attached bits of meat for stock. The current issue of Saveur has a great recipe for boudin stuffed turkey breast which I was all set to do until I realised that overnight shipping on the boudin would cost me five times as much as the actual product. So I'll be making my own quasi "boudin".
Kayb November 12, 2010
H'mm. I was planning on just roasting a turkey breast for Thanksgiving. Now I'm contemplating getting it boned (I have nowhere near the knife skills to do it myself) and trying this. Thoughts?
pierino November 12, 2010
Actually thats "gallantine" but never mind, if you can bone out a chicken you've got the hard part down. Stuffing can be anything from bread to sausage. You do want to know what the internal temperature of the roulade is, 160 on instant read thermometer (like a thermapen). Unlike a whole bird where you fill the cavity, the risk of bacteria from stuffing is almost non-existant because the gallantine is going to be tied up neat and pretty. Absolutely do baste every 20 minutes so the skin get's properly browned. You might want to rub the outside of the roll with olive oil and sea salt which will help it crisp up. I'd say start at 400 degrees and reduce it after a half hour to about 375. But the internal temperature is what matters. Nice picture, by the way...
aargersi November 12, 2010
The stuffing temperature rules are the same as with turkey (or any stuffing) 165 minimum to kill bacteria ... safetly first! What sides are you serving? That might help with deciding on stuffing ...
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