Friday, November 3, 2017

Chicken Little – The Sky is Not Falling

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.


mulatto butts said...

An internal temp of 150F is fine, but when we get close to 140F, the meat around the bone takes on a reddish pink color due to the marrow inside. This is perfectly fine and safe to eat, but when serving this at a dinner party, some traditional, 165F chicken guests may refuse to eat it.

Unknown said...

Hi, Chef John!
I do love your job.
I have made a lot of your dishes, specially the pasta ones.
And i recently travelled to Peru.
Man, have you tried LOMO SALTADO?
If you could post a video of you doing it, i would break down and cry.
Of happiness.

Jake said...

Chef John -- help! The pan sauces I'm making taste good but look awful (err, I mean, "rustic").

Could you do a techniques video on rustic versus heavily filtered sauces?

Leon said...

I couldn't find a video/recipe for that mirepoix-braised farro. Could you post a link, please?

Lorraine said...

That looks so impressive. When it was raw I didn't really think it would come out that good. I'm definitely trying this one!

Meerls said...

Before anyone decides to jump down his throat regarding his 150 degree cooking temp. Yes, 165 is what USDA recommends as that's the instant-kill temp zone. However, all harmful food bacteria dies at 150 degrees as long as you maintain that temperature for about 5 minutes (less for smaller poultry, closer to 5 for bigger birds). Furthermore, even if all bacteria isn't destroyed. Such as might be the case if you only keep the temp at 150 for 2 minutes. It would take a long while before the chicken re-grew enough harmful bacteria to be virulent (harmful to you). The instances where this might happen is if you kept the 150 temperature for only 1-2 mins and you let the bird sit unconsumed for over 45 minutes. This also implies that at some point in the cooking process between temperatures of 140-149 you may have killed enough bacteria to have the food be safe before it reaches 150. The point i'm trying to make is, food cooking temp is a dynamic thing. Not something set in stone. That said, if this is all just too much thinking for you. Getting it to 165 is always a safe bet.

Elizabeth said...

Llllots of compliments. Yes. That's what I would be going for. ;) LOL

draceanaqueen said...

It looks like a pale Hershey's Kiss. Okay.

Nick said...

Chef John, Do you recommend 150 and the juices not have any blood left or does the blood not really matter? I've seen chicken reach 165 and still have blood. So what is one to do?

Richard Malizia said...

Chef John,
Try as I might, I can't find a working video of your chestnut recipe. Could you please redo it on Food Wishes? The holidays are just around the corner and I'd like to roast them the way you did them. Thank you
Richie Malizia.

MrPrivate12866 said...

Chef John,
I have looked far and wide and can not find anything on “Mirepoix Roasted Farro”. Either on this blog or the internet in general. It looks so good that I hope you do make a video for it.


William DiStefano said...

Made this and it was tasty.

Daughter wouldnt eat it. I asked her why and she said it looked like the poop emoji.
Oy vais

Toni Baloney said...


Leonard van der Laken said...

Dear Chef John, This, first of all, is to let you know that I like your video recipes very much. Anayway, in recipie you plate te chicken on a mirepoix disch you believe you did a video on. I cannot find this video so my quesion is if you could provide a link to the recipie. Thx. Leonard

Jon Kapecki said...

I see several farro recipes on your site, but not one for the mirepoix version with which you accompanied Chicken Little. Can you give us a hint or two?

Lynn said...

I made this last night and it was sooooooo delicious as well as having an amazing presentation. I'm considering making a bunch of them up to the part where they are wrapped in foil and freezing them. I would love to serve these at a large dinner party. Very impressive! I made chicken stock from the carcass.

Robert Fowkes said...

A couple of comments:
(1) Could only find Perdue Cornish Game Hens and while I prefer just about any other brand, I really wanted to give this a try. Anyway, the two bird were 1.83 and 1.72 lbs, and the four chicken littles were 6.3, 6.6, 7.0 and 7.2 ounces after trimming.
(2) You do get better, the last one was much better than the first.
(3) Before adding the compound butter, I employed the kosher salt technique on the skin. Put each trimmed half on a plate, skin side up, and sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt. As it rests uncovered in the frig this will draw moisture from the skin and it will roast crispier.
(4) Served the chicken little on roasted veggie risotto and it was a big hit.

Lyddiegal said...

The chicken might be a little out of my comfort zone at the moment, but I'd love to try the mirepoix-braised farro - would you link to the recipe?

Christopher Garlington said...

This recipe is nuts!

Jane Diane Ricciardi said...

Chef John, you are my hero. Love, love, love your videos.

I couldn't find a video/recipe for that mirepoix-braised farro. Could you post a link, please?

cymydog said...

Chef John! I made (with Tarragon compound butter, vice Rosemary) this last week for Sunday brunch... fantastic! Wish that I could post a picture ... it was a “wow!” from my brunch guests :)

Jan Sherman said...

Technically, broasting refers to a trademark applied to a method of cooking chicken and other foods using a pressure fryer and condiments. The technique was invented by L.A.M. Phelan in the early 1950s and is marketed by the Broaster Company of Beloit, Wisconsin, which Phelan founded. broasted chicken recipe