This past weekend was the Real Food Festival in Maleny. Last year I volunteered both days and one day was a double shift without one minute for lunch or even a cup of tea. I decided that this year I needed to go to the festival and enjoy myself and that’s just what I did.
The first event was my chef/hero Cameron Matthews, head chef and manager at The Long Apron restaurant at Spicer’s Clovelly Estate in Montville. You might remember that my sister and I attended Cameron’s Italian cooking class last year. We’ve seen each other around and his wife Leanne is a brilliant food stylist and she did a presentation at the same photo workshop I did last year.
The truth is, this guy can cook. He’s studied, practiced, studied some more, learned from brilliant chefs and cooks and then practiced some more. He’s not full of himself and the best bit is how funny he is. I think he’d be brilliant with his own TV show. Great food and a lot of laughs – my kind of food TV.
Cameron shared the stage with Kacey Walker, owner of Walker Farm Foods where they raise dairy cows, free range chickens and free range eggs. Kacey brought a chicken that looked just like this one because I bought this just after the show. It’s the size of a small turkey but it’s not an old bird. My chicken ate grass and bugs and ran around and had a nurturing life at the Walkers and that makes me very happy. Cameron showed us how to make a chicken ballotine or a stuffed chicken leg and thigh and he served it with a mushroom sauce.
Then I followed Cameron’s instructions on how to bone a chicken thigh and leg and stuff it with sausage. I’ll admit that he did it much better than I did and his knife was WAY sharper than mine was. I think it’s time to visit the knife sharpener. Still, I got the job done. Watch the video and for this recipe, you’d pull that leg bone right out. No lollypop.
You can stuff the chicken with just about anything you like. I stuffed mine with sausage, poking the sausage meat down the hole where the leg bone used to live. I wrapped the whole thing up in cling film and used twisty ties at both ends. I gently poached the chicken roll for about 20 minutes and then heated the oven to 200C and roasted it until the skin turned golden brown.
While it was roasting I sauteed some mushrooms in some butter and then added some chicken stock and cooked that down and then added cream. When it looked thick enough for sauce I whizzed it with a stick blender.
After a few minutes of resting the chicken, I sliced it and served it with the best potatoes I’ve cooked in a long time. I’ll share those next time.
- 1 large chicken leg and thigh connected. (Chicken Maryland in Australia, Ballotine)
- ¾ cup stuffing (I used sausage)
- Chicken stock for poaching
- 25 grams butter
- 4 large button mushrooms, sliced
- a few dried mushrooms (porcini would be good)
- a few oyster or other mushrooms, chopped (if button is all you have, it will be enough)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¾ cup cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Debone chicken leg and thigh. (See Video)
- Place stuffing in the leg hole and in the thigh and roll to close.
- Wrap in cling film and twist ends and fasten with a twist tie.
- Heat to a low simmer enough chicken stock to cover the number of chicken rolls you want to make. There needs to be enough stock to cover the roll.
- Place chicken roll (still inside the cling film) into the chicken stock and poach gently for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F
- Remove from the stock and remove the cling film and dry the skin with paper towel.
- Place chicken roll in a greased baking tray and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Rest for 10 minutes and gently cut into generous slices.
- Serve with mushroom sauce.
- Place butter in a small saucepan and place on the heat. Once butter begins to melt, add the mushrooms and cook on medium heat until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid.
- Add the stock and the cream and cook until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and whiz with a stick blender until smooth.
- Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the chicken slices with the mushroom sauce.
- Drizzle with a bit of good olive oil just before serving.
This is the first use of the chicken. Next I made chicken stock with the carcass and then chicken soup. John’s dad is coming for lunch tomorrow and he’ll love it. We’ll serve some of those brioche rolls with it too.