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A ballottine is a whole chicken that has been boned and stuffed. Showy enough for company, it can be prepared up to a day ahead. (Freeze the bones and the neck, gizzard, and heart for later use in soup or stock.) This bird is best cooked in a sturdy, preferably aluminum, roasting pan, to ensure a good condensation of the cooking juices, which will be used to create the sauce.
Long-grain Wehani rice has a chewy texture that I love. I cook it with mushrooms in stock and then flavor it with leeks and onions for the stuffing. As an alternative, you can stuff the ballottine with a combination of spinach, cheese, and cubed bread or any other stuffing. The ballottine is served with a rich wine sauce made with the defatted chicken drippings and a mixture of finely diced vegetables called a brunoise.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
For the Stuffing: heat the oil in a large saucepan or skillet. Add the garlic, spinach, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute to soften the garlic and wilt the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Reserve the cheese and bread and continue with the recipe.