I combined the last 2 lessons into one because they were kind of related to each other. For practical #11, we prepared the court-bouillon for the ballotine and cooked the ballotine itself, and then in practical #12 we clarified the ballotine’s cooking liquid (to make a sort of chicken consommé, combined it with gelatin to make it a jelly, presented it, and then on the side also prepared boudin blanc (a type of white sausage).
Things went pretty well except for the fact that I was way too slow. The ballotine was a pain to prepare (you have to completely remove all the bones from the chicken while keeping the skin intact, then stuff it), and with my knives that are starting to dull – I might get a whetstone from Chef Terrien the next time I see him – it took a really long time to prepare.
The clarification process was easy enough, basically what we did back in basic with the consommé of a beef court-bouillon, and the gelatin was alright too, but the decoration was a bit more complicated. I went with cool-looking geometric designs: basically what I did was cut differently-sized rectangles and split them into triangles. I layered them in descending size order. I also had some carrots on hand so I cut them very thinly and made more triangles and even some dots. I used the tomatoes very minimally. I used the cherry tomato just for fun, and the tomato petals that I had prepared got eaten by yours truly 😀 (other than a very small moon-shaped strip I used).
I felt like I was back in art class.
With that done, we also did 4 white sausages each (well, we were given enough ingredients to make four – I only got 3 because I screwed up one of them). The keys to this are: a) cook at a low-ish temperature, b) hold on to the sausage casing when you squeeze! Other than that it was pretty simple. We didn’t get to plate but I managed to get one on a plate just for your sakes!
I can see why they didn’t want us to present them – there’s not much to present!