spring chicken ballotine recipe jc walker north london butchers nw5

Herby Spring Chicken Ballotine

make the most of fresh herbs in this tasty recipe

Serves: 6 | Prep time: 3 hours | Cooking time: 4 hours | Difficulty: Medium


  • 4 chicken thigh fillets, finely chopped
  • 1 egg white
  • 125ml thickened cream
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch chervil, leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch tarragon, leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 100g halloumi, grated
  • 1.8kg chicken, boned (ask us to do this for you)
  • 200g pancetta
  • 50g melted, unsalted butter
  • 250g fresh or frozen peas, blanched for 1 minute, refreshed
  • 250g podded fresh or frozen broad beans, blanched for 1 minute, refreshed, skins removed
  • 250ml hot chicken jus (optional)
  • Zest of 1 lemon for garnish (optional)
  • Serve with roasted new potatoes (optional)


Traditional North London Butchers serving NW5, Dartmouth Park, Tufnell Park, Gospel Oak and Kentish Town. Considered one of North London’s best butchers, JC Walker offers the highest quality meats, combined with expert knowledge and outstanding customer service. Visit our shop at 69 Chetwynd Road, Dartmouth Park, London, NW5 1DA, or arrange for local delivery. Nationwide delivery also available. 



To make the filling, place chicken thigh meat in a food processor with egg white and cream, then season. Whiz to a coarse paste, then transfer to a bowl. Stir through herbs and halloumi.


Place the boned chicken, skin-side down, on a work surface and season. Lay half the pancetta widthways across the centre, then top with the filling. Roll up the chicken tightly, tucking in the ends as you go, ensuring the skin completely encloses the chicken.


Using a trussing needle and kitchen string, sew up the chicken, then tie at 2cm intervals with string. Tightly wrap in a double layer of foil and form into a log. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.


Preheat oven to 180°C. Place wrapped chicken on a rack set over a roasting pan. Half-fill pan with boiling water, then roast chicken for 1 1/4 hours. Remove foil, baste chicken with butter, then roast, basting occasionally, for a further 15-20 minutes until golden and cooked through.


Cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop remaining 100g pancetta and cook in a frying pan over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes until fat has rendered. Drain fat, reserving it to cook potatoes, if you like. Increase heat to medium-high and cook pancetta until crisp. Add peas and broad beans, tossing to heat through.


Thickly slice chicken, then place on a platter, top with pea mixture and drizzle with hot chicken jus, if using. Grate the lemon zest over the dish before serving, if using and enjoy!

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