Difficulty Rating 3/5
I had read about salt baked celeriac and was tempted, but like alot of things in life in wasn’t a tad laborious. Making a salt crust with loads of salt, herbs, egg whites. Then i stumbled across a piece in The Independent. Which gave me a much more simple idea with excellent results.
Chicken:2 chicken breasts/ 200g mushrooms/ splash cream/ egg white/ seasoning.
Salt Baked Celeriac: 1 Celeriac(600-700g)/ 200g salt/ Pan big enough with lid.
Sweetcorn Puree: 1 Can sweetcorn/ cream/ seasoning.
Potato Cakes: 2 large potatoes/ 2tbsp melted butter.
Sauce: Vegetable trimmings, herbs, maderia, beef stock, red wine, dried mushrooms.
1) Blitz the 200g mushrooms to a coarse paste. Then fry over medium heat with a knob of butter until they turn almost black. Add this back into the processor with a touch of seasoning, egg white spalsh of cream and the fillets from the chicken breats if you have them. Process to a thick spread consistency.
2) Put chicken breasts between two pieces of cling film, flatten with a rolling pin until 1cm thick. Remove top layer of film, spread mousse over breast about two thirds of it. Then roll up with the clingfilm. Tighten both ends until the chicken resembles a uniform thickness sausage. Set aside in the fridge.
3) For the celeriac, heat oven to 200c. Put a layer of salt in pan a good 1-2cm thick. Place celeriac on top. Bake for 1hr15 turning every 20 mins. It’s done when the skin falls off easily and soft in the middle.
4) Take the flesh from the celeriac, puree with a touch of cream and seasoning.
5) For the gravy, sweat veg trimmings, herbs and dried mushrooms then turn up heat and add Madeira/Port/Marsala whatever you have, about 100ml. Let this reduce to a sticky glaze, then add equal quantities of beef stock and red wine. Reduce again by half or further if you want a sticky sauce.
6) Heat sweetcorn, then add to the processor. Puree for a couple of minutes then add a little cream and salt to give it an unctous texture and taste. Pass this through a sieve. I then put this into a simple squeezy bottle to produce the shown effect.
7) Grate potatoes into a tea towel, squeeze until no more liquid comes out. Add melted butter.
8) Set a pan to 80c, very gentle simmer. Then add the wrapped chicken ballotines, give them 15 mins. Let them rest as you plate the rest up.
9) Use a cooks ring, 10cm, to make potato cakes in a frying pan. Fry over a medium heat for 4mins a side. If you have any duck fat this makes excellent cakes. Otherwise a combination of oil and butter will be good. Season well when cooked on both sides.
To serve, put a big round of celeriac puree in the centre of the plate. Add the potato cakes in the middle, then slice the ballotines through the middle on the diagonal and place on top. Drizzle sauce over the top and squeeze sweetcorn aorund the edges as you see fit.