With its colourful, pistachio-studded filling, this ballotine makes an excellent centrepiece for a buffet party. 494 cals per serving. Serves 10.
YOU WILL NEED
2kg/4lb chicken, boned
4 thin slices cooked ham
125g/4oz pistachio nuts, shelled
60g/2oz butter, softened
600ml/1 pint chicken stock For the stuffing 500g/1lb belly pork
375g/12oz chicken livers, trimmed
250g/8oz streaky bacon rashers, rinds removed, coarsely chopped
2 shallots, quartered
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsps brandy
2 tsps chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and black pepper
First make the stuffing. Chop the pork into 5mm (¼in) pieces and place in a bowl.
Purée the chicken livers, bacon, shallots, garlic and brandy in a food processor until smooth.
Add to the pork in the bowl with the thyme, sage, ginger and cinnamon and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Place the boned chicken, skin-side down, between two pieces of cling film and pound to an even thickness with a rolling pin.
Remove the cling film from the chicken and assemble the ballotine. Spread half of the stuffing over the chicken, to within 2.5cm (1in) of the edges.
Arrange the ham slices on top, and scatter the pistachio nuts over the ham. Spread the remaining stuffing over the pistachio nuts.
Fold the chicken over the stuffng to form a sausage shape and sew the edges together with thin string, or fasten them with small metal skewers.
Tie several pieces of string around the chicken to keep it in shape.
Spread the softened butter over the chicken skin and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken roll on a wire rack in a roasting tin.
Bring the stock to a boil and pour over the chicken in the roasting tin.
Cook in a preheated oven at 160°C/140°C fan/Gas Mark 3, basting occasionally and adding more stock if necessary, for two hours or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced.
Transfer the ballotine to a plate and leave to cool. Cover and chill overnight.
Cut into thin slices to serve.