"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

My Chicken Ballottine

As promised, here is a photo of my version of the finished Chicken Ballotine.

It was a calm, warm and wind free evening.  The end of a beautiful day - we didn't have the predicted 28oC but it was certainly warm enough.

Unfortunately, the solar cooker didn't achieve the 200oC required for baking the bread, so we had to buy rolls.  But, now I am even more determined to purchase a small gas bbq to make my bread in - I need it just small enough to take a loaf - not one of those gizmo's with all the bells and whistles and in gleaming stainless steel.  No, siree, just a small gas bbq.

Whilst a bottle of our favourite wine (KWV Roodeberg) caressed our throats, we consumed the chicken - much to RMan's delight.  He declared the meal "amazing" and "fabulous"  and definitely worth repeating.

Then we had dessert of ice cream and home grown strawberries - our first and absolutely delicious.  Over the past 5 - 6 days I had been hiding the ripening strawberries under the leaves of the plants, away from the birds - and away from any prying fingers wanting a taster.  It worked :-)

It was a perfect evening and very reminicient of our wedding day 30 years ago - we had organised to have the reception at home, and it poured with rain - so much so that even the marquee we had hired was flooded.  Not having had enough chairs we all ended up sitting on the floor in our lounge - which was guaranteed to remove any polite restrictions which normally abound at weddings.  It was the most relaxed and laughter filled wedding I have ever attended.

Last nights meal, candlelight and conversation was a perfect and a fitting day to celebrate our 30 years together.

Chicken Ballottine is normally cooked in an jelly (aspic) stock made with calf's feet, pork rind, buckle of veal, carrots, onions, leeks, bouquet garni and chicken stock.  I chose to cook it in chicken stock with onions, carrots, and fresh herbs from the garden and it was delicious.