Why does Gordon Ramsay do this?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by basilskite, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. basilskite

    basilskite

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    Hey everybody. Got a question for yall.



    Gordon's making stuffed chicken legs wrapped in bacon in this video. After wrapping it in aluminum foil and poaching it in water, he chills it in the fridge for thirty minutes, then sears the bacon crust, and then serves. I was wondering why he does this? Wouldn't the filling be cold?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  2. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Basil, wrapping meat with a filling into a "ballotin" as they call such roll, then poach or steam it and then cool it, is done to keep the entire roll in that shape for frying. If you don't poach and cool it, the whole roll won't keep it's shape in the frying pan. Gordon Ramsay is not just searing the bacon, the whole roll has to get warmed through in the pan.

    I've done it recently with a stuffed turkey breast but without wrapping it in bacon. Butterfly the breast, pound it gently to flatten out and you can fill it.
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    If you don't poach and cool it, the whole roll won't keep it's shape in the frying pan

    Chris, isn't that what they make kitchen string for?

    The only time I poach first is if the foodstuff is too soft. For instance, when making fish sausages. But for ballotine type dishes the proteins usually are dense enough for tying.

    True, wrapping and poaching makes a prettier dish. But it's not a necessary step.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    He used the foil instead of the string. Simpler for most home cooks and you won't end up with depressions where people tied it too tightly or deformed it with uneven tying.

    Most of the high fat fine grind fillings traditional to ballotine would be quite soft.  Where he left the meat on the skin, he probably could have tied it.
     
  5. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Sure, the fillings tend to be soft. But that hardly matters when, as he did, you are wrapping it in two rather firm proteins (chicken and bacon).

    I'm not arguing against the idea of poaching first. I just don't buy into Chris' implication that it has to be done that way.

    BTW, when I do pre-poach, I use cling film rather than foil, cuz I don't like the idea of the foil coming in direct contact with the food. No particular justification for that; just a gut feeling.
     
  6. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Then there's the crew who is concerned about the plasticizers migrating to the food. Though at boiling temps, that's not much if at all.

    I've used plastic wrap with a fish sausage that is poached to set the form.
     
  7. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Ky, indeed it makes a nicer tighter shape but most important it gives another softer structure to the meat too. Also, the filling helps to flavor the whole structure. You don't even have to poach a ballotin, the turkey breast I made was first wrapped in parchement paper, then in aluminium sheet and cooked in the oven at low temperature, works perfect too. It's certainly not a "must" that you have to poach a ballotin first.

    The filling here is shiitake, Bayonne ham, tiny bit of foie gras, cream cheese, tarragon and a little egg and panko to bind it a little.

    [​IMG]  [​IMG]  [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  8. french fries

    french fries

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    What Chris said. I made that exact recipe and I can tell you, when the ballotin comes out of the poaching water, it's fairly soft and lose, and would be quite difficult to handle in a frying pan. After a bit of time in the fridge, it holds its shape perfectly well, making it easier to sear (while at the same time re-heating the entire ballotin). 

    Very good tasting ballotin, and an impressive looking result. I recommend it. 
     
  9. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    That softness, FF, comes from the poaching. Chilling is then needed to firm it up. However, if you wrapped the bacon, then tied the bundle, it sears quite well.

    The major objection to tying is, as Phil pointed out, the fact that you get the groves from the string, which some people find objectionable. On the upside, on larger cuts, such as a stuffed pork loin or flank steak, the string not only holds everything together, it can be used to mark the cut lines.

    Again, please don't think I'm promoting one method over the other. I'm just presenting alternatives to a similar end.
     
  10. french fries

    french fries

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    While I've never tried a balloting seared directly, without poaching first, I would assume the final result to be different in texture. Also, wouldn't the chicken on the outside get overcooked by the time the filling inside is perfectly cooked?

    Another thing is, with that specific recipe, you want the bacon to be uniformly seared, and certainly the groves created by string would make for slices of ballotin that have perfectly flat, seared bacon on the outside, while other sices have the grove, weirdly shaped bacon outside that's only partially seared, partially steamed. Not appetizing. 
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  11. basilskite

    basilskite

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    Ok I see. Thanks a lot guys! I suppose my next question is, what's the difference between a ballotine and a roulade?
     
  12. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    It's merely a technical difference, Basil. A ballotine consists of three or more proteins. In this recipe, for instance, you have the filling, wrapped by chicken, wrapped by bacon. While a roulade can be made that way, they're generally just the main protein wrapped around a filling---which itself does not have to be a protein.

    Rouldades are usually done in individual portions as well, whereas ballotines have no such restrictions.  
     
  13. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Ky, the difference of both can easily be explained by the translation of both terms.

    Ballotin means purse or pouch. For instance a filling of minced meat wrapped in a cabbage leaf is also a ballotin. Let's generalise that a ballotin is a small wrapped package.

    Roulade is deviated -as you may expect- from the french verb "rouler" which means "to roll" in english. So, even a piece of meat rolled up and tied with a string with no outer wrapping or packing material such as aluminium foil, is a roulade.

    To be short, Gorden Ramsay makes a roulade of chicken and prepares it as a ballotin, using aluminium foil as wrapping material.
     
  14. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I didn't watch the video but it sounds more like a galantine.
     
  15. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Ramsay's dish is a boned out leg, served hot, and served alone; therefore it's a ballotine. 

    BDL
     
  16. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    Papillote ( in Spanish ) a word which hails from the south of France, is a common culinary method for a sort of oven poaching --- or steaming in oven, a method of sealing in the juices when cooking. There is a special parchment type cooking paper or aluminum foil used for this. I have prepared fresh fish with vegetables / tubers and a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt for a very simple labor day work week lunch. Many Spanish Chefs use this method as well. Furthermore, it can used with uncountable ingredients and is simple and easy.   
     
  17. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    You Tube:  Lovely recipe, looks quite delectable ... The stuffed chicken with pistachios and bacon,  is called a " Roti " in Spanish and this method seals in all your moisture ... The wrapping in aluminum or parchment is Papillote as previously mentioned.

    I  shall definitely try it one of these days.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  18. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Ramsay's wrapping is not -- from a culinary standpoint -- "en papillote," which is sealing food into a paper and/or foil packet so as to get it gently steam in the oven -- and then, when unwrapped on the diner's plate, have it release it's aromatic steam and excite her sense of smell and palate. 

    What he's doing is something like "torchon," which is wrapping in a towel and poaching so as to get something to hold a cylindrical shape.  It's what you do with foie gras.  I'm not sure if the foil technique has it's own name or not.    

    In addition to not being en papillote, It's also not "roti," which translates -- again, from a strict culinary standpoint -- as "roulade."  Ramsay's dish can only be called a roulade in the loosest sense.  More, a roti is not the same as something cooked en papillote. 

    If we're going to use these terms in their strict culinary sense, then we should use them in their strict culinary sense.  In that restricted context, a ballotine is not a galantine is not a roulade.

    A galantine is coated in aspic and served cold.  A roulade is browned before it's braised.  A ballotine can be served hot or cold, but is usually served hot.  Ballotines are usually not served as the main course, nor are they usually served with much in the way of accompanying garnish.  Here we'd use them as an "app," but in a French foraml dinner, they'd usually be an entree.

    Hope this helps,

    BDL
     
  19. apprentichef

    apprentichef

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    That's so funny that you posted what you did when you did BDL.

    I just got done writing an article covering the differences between saute, sautuese, and sautoir and more broadly using culinary terms in their proper context.

    To the OP, as has been pointed out, you're merely heating up the dish and crisping the bacon at the same time before slicing and presenting.
     
  20. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    From The New Larousse Gastronomique   " Ballotine - Galantine normally served as a hot entree; it can also be served cold. "