Here is a great fall recipe that was a huge hit with the guests.  This recipe uses classic french technique to create a wonderful dish.   A ballontine is typically some sort of poultry that is wrapped in its own skin and filled with some sort of mousse.  Then poached, seared or roasted.  The filling here I used was with matsutake and truffle.   I paired the dish with salt baked sunchokes, lima bean puree, and chanterelles.  I topped the dish with truffle broth.  The result was definitely delicious.  

Guinea fowl ballontine 

8 breast Guinea fowl with skin

5 1/2 breast salted
3 tbsp of truffle butter 

2 1/2 Guinea breast mousse
5 mastutake
4 oz beech mushrooms
2 tbsp truffle butter
4 oz cognac
2 tbsp tarragon
1 egg white
1/4 cup cream
Salt and pepper

Lima bean puree
3 cups Lima beans blanched
5 shallots sliced
1 tbsp oil and butter
6 oz Guinea stock
4 oz creme fraiche
1/4 cup parsley leaves blanched
2 tbsp tarragon
Salt and pepper

1 lb  Chanterelles  
1 tbsp of oil
2 tbsp of butter
4 oz of Guinea stock

Salt baked sunchokes
1 lb sunchokes
2 lb salt
1 egg white 

Guinea stock
4 Guinea carcasses browned
1 onion, 2 carrots
1 parsnip
2 fennel
4 celery stalks
6 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
Water to fill the pot (1 gal )

1 cup Oil for frying 

2 cups of Guinea stock
8 oz of truffle butter


For the Guinea Stock

De- bone 4 whole Guinea Fowl. Brown bones on a sheet pan in an 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.  Then take vegetables and brown in a stock pot with a little bit of olive oil until they are caramelized (10 minutes).  Add garlic and herbs and cook for another minutes.  Then add water and bones to the pot.  Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer.  Reduce by half.

For the ballontine,

Remove the skin and reserve from the breast and trim and discard excess fat.  Try to keep as whole as possible.  First make the mousse.  In a small saute pan on medium high heat add 2 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp of butter, and mushrooms.  Cook for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Deglaze with cognac.  Once the liquid is almost gone finish with truffle butter, salt, and pepper.  Allow to cool.  Then place the 2 1/2 guniea breast in a food processor along with the mushroom mixture and tarragon.  Puree until smooth, then while food processor is still running add egg white and then drizzle in the cream.  Season with salt and pepper and then place in the refrigerator.

Then take 2 long overlapping pieces of plastic wrap (2 ft ) and lay flat on your prep table.  Take all the guinea skin and make a rectangle with it in the middle of the plastic wrap.  Season the 5 1/2 guinea breast and place flat on top of the skin in the same rectangle form (leaving a little extra skin around the edges).  Then spoon or pipe the mousse in the middle of the guinea breast rectangle.  Then using the plastic wrap and your hands roll the guinea fowl up into a log with the skin on the outside the breast and filling on the inside.  Using the plastic wrap roll as tight as can be and tie up both ends.  Then place in a sous vide bag and seal up air tight with 3 tbsp truffle butter.   Place in the refrigerator for an hour to help firm up if you have the time.  Other wise place in a 140 degrees water bath for 2 1/2- 3 hours.   Then take out and rest.

For salt baked sunchokes 

In a bowl add salt, egg white and a splash of water.  Mix until salt feels like wet sand.  Then in a small oven proof pan add a then layer of salt on the bottom.  Add your sunchokes and then cover with the remaining salt mixture.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly then break the "shell" of the salt and take out all of the sunchokes.  Carefully brush or lightly rinse away all the salt.  Set aside for later.

For the Lima bean puree

In a small sauce pot add oil, butter, shallots, and 1/2 tsp of salt.  Cover and cook for 7 minutes until tender.  Then add stock and lima beans.  Cook until all the liquid is just about gone.  Then add to a vita mix with herbs and creme fraiche.  Season with salt and puree until smooth.  Set aside and keep warm.  

For the truffle foam,

Mix together truffle butter and guinea stock.  Season with salt, set aside and keep warm

To finish,

In a small saute pan add chanterelles with butter and oil.  Cook for 5 minutes and then add stock. Cook until almost all the liquid is gone and finish with 1 tbsp of butter.  Keep warm.  Take the guinea ballontine out of the sous vide bag.  In a large cast iron skillet add 1 cup of oil for frying.  Season the ballontine aggressively with salt on the outside.  Then place into the medium hot skillet and brown all the way around until a deep golden brown.  Take the ballontine out of the skilled and allow to rest. Add the sunchokes to the skillet to brown and reheat again. Take out and drain.  To plate, place a spoonful of the lima bean puree on the plate.  Slice 1/2-3/4 inch piece of ballontine and place on top of the puree.  Add the sunchokes and chanterelles around the plate.  Using a hand blender froth the truffle foam and spoon on top.  Finish with radish flowers, serve and enjoy!