Thursday, September 17, 2009

Feast of Fields—Ballotin of Ferme aux Saveurs des Monts Organic Chicken

Feast of Fields was an Ottawa event held this past weekend that brought together the talents of organic farmers and chefs and allowed hungry guests to sample all their tasty treats. Chefs were paired with area farmers to showcase this season's harvest. And what a feast it was!

There were 25 teams set up with tables along each side of a huge tent. The weather was perfect, with a slight cool breeze, and the diners were clamoring to get their plate and sample the local organic food. As we walked around tasting, we were amazed by the variety of options. From mini bites of cornbread and smoked pork and apple sausage to goose terrine garnished with a delicate edible flower and gingersnap cookies, I soon realized my eyes were bigger than my stomach.



The winner of the Best Farmer-Chef Team was Sylvain Bertrand of Ferme aux Saveurs des Monts and Executive Chef Serge Jost and Executive Sous Chef Timothy Wasylko from Fairmont Le Château Montebello.

This team set the bar very high for upcoming Feasts. With a pastry brush, they painted the bottom of each plate with port wine caramel. Then they carefully assembled each part of the dish starting with the rolled slice of chicken, followed by the apple ginger compote, some micro greens for color, and a Balsamic Tuile carefully placed on top. It was a work of mouth-watering art showcasing the best of local and organic ingredients in one dish.


Clockwise from top:
Executive Sous Chef Timothy Wasylko, Executive Chef Serge Jost,
Ballotin of Ferme aux Saveurs des Monts Organic Chicken,
Winning Team #11

I had a chance to talk to Executive Sous Chef Timothy Wasylko during the event, and after telling him about my recent events at cooking school, he provided some well-needed tips about how to turn vegetables! I asked if they use turned vegetables that much at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, and sadly he said “sometimes”. His tips included using an egg to practice dragging a knife along the outside to get the muscle memory of turning into your hands. He also suggested dipping the egg in wax, which is a great idea! Later in the week, I contacted the chefs to ask if they would like to share their winning recipe, and they were happy to. Thank you!

Recipe for Ballotin of Ferme aux Saveurs des Monts Organic Chicken
with roasted pumpkin, sundried cranberries and pine nuts, apple compote and port wine caramel

from Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello Executive Chef Serge Jost and Executive Sous Chef Timothy Wasylko

Serves 6-8

1 Whole Ferme aux Saveurs des Monts organic chicken, deboned
1 breast of organic chicken
200 g pumpkin
3 teaspoons organic extra virgin olive oil
2 organic egg whites
100 ml organic 35% cream
Salt and pepper
1 g cinnamon
1 g ground clove
1 g ground ginger
1 g ground nutmeg
4 organic cloves of garlic, roasted
3 organic onions, sliced and cooked until well caramelized, then cooled
6 large leaves of Swiss chard
10 g pine nuts, toasted until golden brown
10 g sundried organic cranberries


Preheat oven to 350°F. Drizzle pumpkin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until very soft, allow to cool. In a food processor, purée pumpkin and chicken breast until smooth. Add egg whites, cream, spices, roasted garlic and caramelized onions. Season with salt and pepper. (Cook a small amount to taste seasoning.)

Blanch Swiss chard in boiling water for 30 seconds and immediately submerge into ice water. Remove and dry very well.

Stuffing is basically like making sushi. Using a sushi mat lined with plastic wrap- first spread the Swiss chard so it is an even thin layer. Spread 4 tablespoons of pumpkin mixture completely over the surface of the Swiss chard. Sprinkle with pine nuts and dried cranberries. Gently roll as tight as possible and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate.

Place deboned whole chicken skin side down. Cut in ½ lengthwise between the breasts. Cover with plastic wrap and pound until meat is thin and completely covers the skin. Season with salt and pepper. Spread 3 tablespoons of pumpkin mixture completely over chicken. Place Swiss chard roll in the center and roll up chicken with skin on the outside. Wrap very tightly in plastic wrap. Continue with other ½ of the chicken. Poach in water for 25 minutes. Then allow to cool. Remove plastic and roast in a 400°F oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165°F (74°C.)

Apple Ginger Compote
2 organic Apples, peeled and cut into wedges
10 ml Japanese white pickled ginger, finely chopped
10 g organic butter

Cook apples in butter until soft. Add ginger.

Balsamic Tuile
30 ml balsamic vinegar
30 ml organic sugar
10 ml butter
40ml flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into desired shape on a Silpat-lined sheet pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Port Wine Caramel
750 ml port wine

Boil port wine and allow to reduce until 100 ml, about 20 minutes.

To Assemble
Paint port wine on the plate. Top with a slice of ballotin. Add 15 ml compote and garnish with the Tuile and a little bit of micro greens.

. . . . . . . . . .

Here are some other notable tables at Feast of Fields that I enjoyed...


Clockwise from top:
Potato and Leek Soup,
Arctic Char Bruschetta,
Cherry Tomatoes,
Carrot and Beet Salad

The Red Apron & Sweet Meadow Farms
A creamy potato and leek soup was being served by Jennifer and Jo-Ann of The Red Apron with heirloom potatoes from Sweet Meadow Farms. The display of the many varieties of potatoes by Sweet Meadow Farms was awe-inspiring. Red Apron’s arctic char on a crispy herb biscuit was another delightful bite.

Epicuria & Bryson Farms
Tracey Black from Epicuria was paired up with Bryson Farms and served a beautiful vegetable medley of carrots and beets drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette. It was almost too pretty to eat.


Clockwise from top:
Smoked Pork and Apple Sausage,
Grilled Bison and Cucumber Mint Salad,
Beau’s Beer,
Pascale’s All Natural Ice Cream

Thyme and Again Catering & Ashton Naturals
Thyme and Again Catering served a smoked pork and apple sausage in little bamboo boats. The bun that the sausage was served in was a favorite part of this serving with its seeds and wholesome taste.

Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro & Battle River Bison Co.
Warren Sutherland from Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro along with Battle River Bison Co. dished out a grilled bison and cucumber mint salad with a sesame dressing that was a refreshingly crunchy mixture of vegetables. The Asian-inspired vinaigrette surrounding each bite made for a perfect salad.

Beau’s All Natural Beer
Everyone was enjoying the beer from Beau’s, voted Best Craft Brewery in Ontario. Their beer is golden, crisp and finely balanced and deserves all the awards they’ve been receiving.

Pascale’s All Natural Ice Cream & The Pickle Patch
For the whole afternoon, Pascale was dishing up her All Natural ice cream, and the line never stopped growing. We enjoyed tasting Peanut Butter Pickle, Sour Cream Strawberry, and Beau’s Chocolate. All were creamy and refreshing.


It was a fine feast to celebrate the end of summer!

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  • 13 comments:

    chriesi said...

    What a gorgeous dish!

    Eliana said...

    What a fantastic event and that chicken dish looks incredible. My sweet tooth would have kept me on the line for ince cream all day.

    Dolce said...

    The correct French world would be "ballotin" and not "Ballotine" but I am wondering if the Serge Bertrand & Serge Jost wrote it this way now, which would be, well, fancy! :)
    This looks delicious by the way...

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    Carrian said...

    Everything looks amazing!! I love that picture of the flowers too. Please don't let winter come any faster this year!!!

    Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

    Dolce - Thanks for letting me know. Wish I knew more French! I've fixed it now. :)

    ~Shari

    Sippity Sup said...

    The quality of your ingredients always blows me away! I mean you are in the cold bitter north, right? What gives? GREG

    Dolce said...

    No problem Shari :) Anytime!!

    Sophie said...

    Definitely my kind of meal, the sweet and savory combo is my favorite :)!

    Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

    A gorgeous dish & a wonderful post. What a beautiful event to attend!

    katie said...

    i am humbled by the amount of great food in the post. looks like a great time.

    Monica H said...

    this all looks so incredible- the colors of those tomatoes and that chicken! oooweee.

    Mrs Moffat said...

    Thank you for this gorgeous recipe (and blog). It is so succulent and delicious! It took me the whole day, but definitely worth the effort. I'll definitely make it again!
    Kind Regard,
    Natalie, Sydney, Australia