Chicken, Almond and Celery Ballotine with Wilted Chard and Creamy Caper Dressing by Eve Kalinik | Full programme via emailed PDF
This ballotine is deliciously filling and packed full of gut-nourishing foods. Chicken is naturally one of the highest sources of tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin, our ‘happy hormone’. I’ve paired it with wilted chard, as leafy greens are brimming with vitamins and minerals and our gut microbes love the fibre they provide as well. You will have some of the filling left over: pile it into a hot sweet potato or spoon on top of salmon and bake in the oven. Any extra dressing is perfect to perk up fennel or roasted cauliflower; in fact it pretty much works with any vegetables and salads.
serves 2 (with extra filling and dressing)
2 organic free range chicken breasts, approx. 200g each
Organic unsalted butter or ghee
2 handfuls rainbow chard, or other green leafy veg
creamy caper dressing
65g cashews, soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons drained capers
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes Pinch mineral-rich salt
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
almond and celery filling
150g almonds with skins, soaked for 8 hours, drained and rinsed with filtered water
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped or crushed
1 tablespoon almond nut butter
1⁄4 teaspoon mild yellow mustard powder
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Generous pinch mineral-rich salt
Pinch black pepper
+ Place all of the filling ingredients in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined but not too smooth.
+ Trim any sinews off the chicken breasts. Fold back the fillets so each breast opens out like a book; using a rolling pin, bash them until they are 2–3cm thick. Spread 3 tablespoons of the filling on each of the breasts, fold back the opened side and then roll up tightly. Lightly grease two pieces of foil with a little butter or ghee. Wrap each chicken breast in the foil, making sure to seal the ends to keep in all the juices. Put these in the fridge for 30 minutes.
+ While the chicken breasts are chilling, make the dressing. Put all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender along with 50ml of filtered water and blend until it has the consistency of double cream; you may need to add more water. Transfer to a sealable glass or ceramic container and place in the fridge. This will keep for up to 3 days.
+ Preheat the oven to 230°C/Gas 8. Place the chicken parcels on a baking tray and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
+While the chicken is resting, trim the rainbow chard stalks if necessary. Heat 1 teaspoon of the butter or ghee in a shallow pan, add the chard and cook for around 5 minutes until wilted.
+ To serve, cut the chicken into slices about 5cm thick. Divide the chard between two plates, add the chicken and drizzle generously with the caper dressing.