Armed with nothing more than a sharp boning knife, and some patience, pretty much anyone can make this visually impressive, “chicken little.” At least that’s what I’m calling it, for lack of a better name. In the business, this is sometimes referred to as an individual chicken ballotine, which really doesn’t have much of a ring to it.
I was thinking of going with “pear chicken,” but then I’d have to deal with all those “where’s the pear?” comments. Anyway, regardless of the name, this is a real showstopper, and easily adaptable when it comes to seasonings, and glazes. I did the simplest pan sauce possible, by deglazing the drippings with a splash of chicken stock, but you could use wine, and/or demiglace, to fancy it up even more.
I’m recommending that we cook this to an internal temp of 150 F., to ensure ultra-juicy meat, which will terrify some of you, “Henny Penny’s”. I still see recommendations online to roast chicken to 165 F., which is not only crazy, but completely unnecessary. Anything that would harm you is killed at 140 F., so please try to relax.
Since there is a bit of production involved, I do suggest making these ahead, and keeping them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Not only will they roast to an even more beautiful golden brown, but your flavored butter ingredients inside will have time to permeate the meat. So, whether you’re making these to impress guests at a dinner party, or just improve your knife skills, or both, I really hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!
Ingredients for 2 portions:
one 1.5 pound game hen (this will work with any size bird, but roasting times will change)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the butter:
1 clove garlic, sliced
large pinch of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon minced thyme and rosemary
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup seasoned chicken broth to deglaze and reduce in roasting pan
– Roast at 450 F. for about 30 minutes, or until internal temp of 150 F.