Chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto, stuffed with spiced black pudding and served with a butter bean & chorizo cassoulet and steamed kale!

“This recipe is loosely based around my final creation on MasterChef. It was a dish that really didn’t work, it had too many elements and the flavours failed to balance.This version is far more simple and uses readily available supermarket ingredients. I think it’s actually a far better dish than the original!

The cassoulet recipe will make a larger quantity than you need for this recipe. However, it’s fantastic with crusty bread, freezes well, great with other meats (particularly pork belly) or just with roasted vegetables. Please feel free to half the recipe.The serving size will depend on the size of your chicken breasts. Medium chicken breasts will serve 2 or 3 people, Large chicken breasts will serve 4 or even 5 people. If you have extra stuffing mix left you can make additional ballontines with boned chicken legs or just the thighs.”  – Robert Austin 

THE STUFFING

Ingredients: 120g Black Pudding, 2 Garlic Cloves, 2 Shallots or ¼ of a medium Onion, 1 level teaspoon of Cumin Powder, 1 level teaspoon Smoked Paprika (Dulce), 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, Salt & Black pepper to taste.

Method:

Finely chop the Onion/Shallots & garlic and cook on a low heat in light olive oil until translucent.

Add spices.

Cube the Black Pudding and add to the pan, keeping a gentle temperature.

With a spatula or the back of a spoon press and the ingredients together so they form a paste.

Keep the heat low or the black pudding will turn grainy. You are looking for a paste like consistency.

When cooked through, transfer to a bowl, season and add the bread crumbs which will act as a binder.

Allow to cool.

THE CHICKEN

Ingredients: 2 Chicken Breasts, 6/8 Prosciutto Slices.

Method: Remove chicken skin and small fillet from the breasts.

Place one of the breasts, inside side down, between two cling film sheets.

Then start to flatten the breasts, starting at the high points and working to the sides.

You can use a mallet, rolling pin or the base of a small pan to do this.

Keep your strokes light and even letting the weight of the implement do the work.

You are looking for a consistent thickness across the breast.

Ideally the length and width of the breast should be a similar size.

Once this is complete, repeat with the second breast.

To assemble: Take a sheet of wide kitchen foil and cut a length around 8 inches longer than your prosciutto slices and brush lightly with oil.

Place 3 or 4 prosciutto slices about 1 inch from the end closest to you.

Each slice should be running lengthwise away from you and slightly overlapping.

Place your flattened chicken breast outside side down so it is level with the slices closest to you.

Take your someof your filling mix place it about an inch into the chicken, try and create cylinder shape.

Now we start to roll.

Take the bottom end of the foil pulling and rolling.

Try and keep the chicken in the same place and draw the foil towards you keeping an even tension. Once we have rolled past the slices of prosciutto, take your end of the foil and tuck it in and continue to roll until we have come to the end of the foil.

At this point the foil parcel may still seem a little loose, but don’t worry.

Now we take the the loose side ends and gently twist them pushing inwards as we go so we form a tight package.

Then repeat with the second chicken breast.

Place the foil parcels in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

THE CASSOULET

This recipe specifies canned butter beans but dried beans, of course, can be substituted. However, your preparation time will increase. Dried butter beans will need to be soaked for a minimum of 12 hours prior to cooking and will need around 60 minutes to cook in a pressure cooker or up to two hours in a pan of water.

Ingredients: 2 x 400g Cans of Butter Beans (Drained), 3 Medium Onions, 3 Medium Sized Carrots, 400g Pasata (or 400g Can of Chopped Tomatoes blended), 225g Chorizo Sausage Ring (not sliced), 4 Cloves of Garlic, 500 ml Chicken Stock, 1 level teaspoon Dried Thyme,

2 level teaspoon Smoked Paprika (Picante), 2 Level Teaspoon Cumin Powder, 2 Bay leaves,

Chilli Flakes (optional), Salt to taste.

ChopOnion and Carrot in 1cm cubes, finely chop garlic cloves and add to a saucepan with olive oil. Keep the temperature low until onion becomes translucent.

Run Chorizo ring under warm water for a 30 seconds to ease the removal of outer skin, then chop to 1cm dice.

Add the diced Chorizo to the pan and stir for 5 minutes increasing the heat to medium. When the fats release from the chorizo add the herbs and spices and continue, stirring frequently, for around 15 minutes.

In another pan mix the Pasata and the Chicken Stock and bring to a simmer.

Then add to the pan with the Chorizo and Vegetables.

Cook for a further 5 minutes and then add the drained Butter Beans.

Cook for a further 20 minutes adding more chicken stock if required.

I prefer to take the Cassoulet off the heat at this stage to let the flavours absorb into the beans while it cools. The Cassoulet can be held safely in the fridge for a couple of days and I personally think the flavour improves.

SERVICE

Ingredients: Roughly Chopped Kale

Heat your oven to 180C or 160C (convection).

Place the foil packages on a baking tray and cook for 35 minutes.

Re-heat the Cassoulet and hold at a gentle simmer, checking for seasoning.

Bring steamer to the boil.

When the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest of 10 minutes.

As the chicken is resting, place kale in steamer until tender but with an element of crunch.

Remove foil from the chicken, in a tray, adding any released juices to the cassoulet.

With a shap knife and using one single stroke slice the chicken into discs between 1-2cm thickness as preferred.

Spoon Cassoulet into the bottom of a warm bowl.

Add three of the discs on top in the centre.

Place the Kale around the chicken and serve.