Chicken Ballotine with a Fondant Potato & Mushroom Sauce

Aspiring Student Chef 2020-21 Finalist - Abi Saunders

About the Recipe

I wanted to showcase local produce, like free-range chicken farmed less than 13 miles away. I love how the chicken ballotine is very tender, the way it cuts into perfect circles with the local asparagus, Somerset Brie and mushroom, giving a lovely mix of flavours and textures that compliment each other.



  • 2 chicken breasts or a whole chicken to take the breasts off (free range and local)

  • 3 tbsp. dried mushrooms

  • 100g of field/Portobello or chestnut mushrooms.

  • 1 small shallot

  • Handful of chopped parsley

  • Knob of butter

  • Crushed clove of garlic

  • 6 slices of Serrano ham

  • 200g wedge of Somerset or Cornish Brie

  • 6 spears of Somerset asparagus


  • 75ml white wine

  • 200ml local double cream

  • Handful of shitake/other mushrooms

  • 200ml chicken stock

  • Salt and Pepper


  • 6 medium local potatoes e.g. Maris Piper

  • 50g local butter

  • 2 Tbsp. oil

  • Bunch of fresh thyme

  • 2 whole cloves of garlic

  • 2 fennel bulbs

  • 6-8 baby heritage carrots

  • Sheet of filo pastry

  • A little melted butter


Place the dried mushrooms in a cup of boiling water to just cover them.
Peel the potatoes. Cut into cylinders. Put in a bowl of water.
Finely chop the shallots and chop the mushrooms. Crush the garlic.

Sweat off the shallots in a knob of butter. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Season.

Take off heat and add chopped parsley. Chop up the soaked mushrooms and add. KEEP the liquid from the soaked mushrooms to the side.

Fillet the chicken breasts off the carcass.

Butterfly the chicken breasts, cover with cling film and bash out a little.

Lay out cling film on the work surface and layer up the ballotine:

3 slices of ham, slightly overlapping

Flattened chicken breast

Spread the mushroom mix thinly over the centre of the breast

Cut off a long slice of brie, cut off the white skin, lay on top of mushroom mix down the centre.

Lay 3 spears of asparagus on top.
Roll the chicken into a tight sausage and wrap tightly in cling film. Twist and tie the ends securely.

Wrap firmly in tin foil

Place the ballotine in a deep oven tray with enough water to be half way up the chicken. Cover with tin foil, place in the oven and cook till core temperature is 75ËšC for about 30-45 minutes. Remove and allow to rest and keep warm before serving.

Remove potatoes from the water and dry with kitchen roll/cloth

Heat tbsp. oil in a saucepan. Fry the ends of the potatoes until they have a good colour.

Make up the chicken stock.

Add the 50g butter to the pan and melt. Add the stock until just below the top of the potatoes. Throw in 2 whole cloves of garlic and a handful of fresh thyme.

Simmer for 30 mins until tender/soft in the centre, check with a sharp knife.
Put a sheet of filo on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Paint with melted butter. Cut into equal wedges. Bake for a few mins until golden.
Put a pan of water on to boil. Trim the hard bottom off the fennel. Cut into quarters. Peel the carrots.
Put the fennel into a pan of boiling water for 4 minutes. Remove and drain well. (Keep the pan of boiled water for the carrots later on).
Check the filo is ready. Take out to cool.
Pour the mushroom liquid, white wine, chicken stock and shitake/other mushrooms into a pan.

Simmer and reduce the liquid by half. Remove the mushrooms, wrap in foil (with a tbsp. of liquid from the pan) and keep warm.

Add the cream and simmer until thickened. Taste, season, taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Get the pan boiling again for the carrots.
Remove the Clingfilm from the chicken and slice into chunky rounds. Cover in tin foil and keep warm whilst doing the fennel/carrots.

Add the carrots to the boiling water for 4 minutes.

Warm up a griddle pan with some oil.

Griddle the fennel or a few minutes until it has defined lines.

Plating up
Warm the plates

Place 3 rounds of chicken ballotine on plate.

Add fondant cylinders between the chicken.

Place two wedges of fennel up against the chicken at an angle.

Place 3 baby carrots at angles against the food

Scatter some of the shitake/other mushrooms around the plate.

Dress the potatoes with micro sprigs of thyme.

Place two shards of filo in between the food

Pour the sauce into a jug and add a sprig of thyme to the top.