Ballotine of Chicken Breast, filled with Basil Pesto & Topped with Olive Tapenade and Bread Crumbs

Ballotine of Chicken Breast, filled with Basil Pesto & Topped with Olive Tapenade and Bread Crumbs

Recipe by Food and the Fabulous | See the original post here | Serves 2


A ballotine is traditionally a deboned leg of chicken or duck, stuffed, tied and rolled and steamed, poached or baked. Nowadays chicken breast and various cuts of red meat are also used to make a ballotine - really a fancy way of saying a stuffed and rolled piece of meat. Mediterranean Delicacies asked me to use their Olive Tapenade and Basil Pesto in a single dish and I thought both well-seasoned dips would be great to flavour chicken breasts which can be boring without punchy flavours and dry if cooked for longer than necessary. Flattened chicken breast cooks quickly so this is a moist (sorry...) dish.




  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Grease an ovenproof tray.
  3. Carefully butterfly and cut each chicken breast in half and place halves on the cling film. Place another sheet of cling film on top.
  4. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to gently bash or tap the breasts until they spread out to approximately just under 0.5 cm thickness. Be careful not to tear the meat. Remove the cling film.
  5. Place 2 teaspoons basil pesto on each flattened piece and spread. Roll the breast up snugly. Spoon 1 tablespoon of olive tapenade over each ballotine and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs over this.
  6. Place in the oven and bake on the tray for 15 minutes or until cooked through. (12 minutes may be enough in your oven).
  7. Then increase the oven temperature to 240 °C (or as high as you can go) and cook for 2-3 minutes further for crumbs to brown, if necessary. The breast meat is very thin, so you don't want it to dry out.

I find the pesto and olive tapenade provide more than enough salt for this dish.


Goes great with:

The perfect pairing to this dish is Moroccan-Style Roast Potatoes with Coriander Yoghurt

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