Dui Ga Xa Ot Dut Lo or; Grandmas Stuffed Chicken or; Poulet Farcie Grand Mere

Chicken Grand-Mere Farcie

6 chicken legs – deboned with skin on.  Go to a previous post to see instructions on how to debone a chicken leg. Easy-peasy..

½ lb ground pork
½ lb raw shrimp - cleaned and deveined

1 small onion – minced fine
2 cloves garlic - pressed
1 large  carrot – grated
1/2  stalk lemongrass (bottom part), grated very fine (you could use lemongrass paste I suppose)
Juice of 1 small lime

2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper

1 cup fish sauce

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 stalks lemongrass

Mix all marinade ingredients well and place in a large bowl or container. 

Place deboned chicken legs into marinade and place into the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight is best.

Place ground pork in a large bowl.

Put shrimp into a food processor and pulse a few times until the shrimp is ground, but not pureed. 

Place minced shrimp into a bowl with ground pork.

Add grated carrots, grated lemongrass, ground pepper, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar

Once the chicken has marinated fully, remove chicken from the marinade and allow it to drain for a few minutes. Remove any pieces of lemongrass from the chicken at this time.

Lay chicken flat, skin side down on a 12” x 12” piece of aluminum foil.

Place 3 tablespoons of stuffing onto it then roll up into a sausage shape.

Once the chicken is rolled up, roll the foil around  the chicken then twist the end to seal and compress the package slightly.

Place wrapped chicken ballotines onto a baking tray and cook at 350°F for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.  Remove chicken from oven, let cool for 15 minutes. Turn oven up to 400°F at this point.

Once cooled enough to handle remove foil from the chicken then place on a grate that has been coated with oil and is sitting over a tray to catch any drippings.

Place chicken in 400°F oven for 10- 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and serve hot.

There was a restaurant in Vancouver years ago named The Green Hut.  It was on Robson Street and served the best French-influenced Vietnamese food I have ever eaten, anywhere. The signature dish was something called Chicken Grand-Mere Farcie and it was heavenly.

I have looked for it on menus of almost every Vietnamese restaurant I go to and have not been able to locate it. Until this meal was served that is. I mentioned the dish to Lazy Bastard one evening between shots of Patron and he took to searching for a recipe everywhere and came up empty every time. So he set to design it himself and the recipe above was the outcome. Chicken Grand-Mere Farcie. Yum...

In France, a ballotine is a stuffed deboned poultry dish, normally a deboned leg or whole chicken. The stuffing can run the gamut from fruit to nuts, bread, vegetable, and meats - forcemeat normally, which is in essence just ground meat with fat added.

A ballotine is trussed or held together with string in a traditional preparation. But with the advent of aluminum foil that arduous chore (trussing) is made easier and quicker with great end results too. I know - I watched Jacques Pepin do it on TV years ago and we all know he is the COOKING GOD.

Vietnam was a French colony until the French did what the French are proficient at and that is to surrender to a hostile force and beat a hasty retreat. What they (the French) left behind was culinary art that the Locals embraced and infused with local ingredients and recipes (they left lots of other stuff behind as well - misery, poverty, emotionally scarred people, and war-torn landscape to name but a few).

So, the high point of the French occupation, if one can say any occupation has a high point, was a fantastic cuisine that was indeed food fusion before the term food fusion was fashionable to the point of nausea as it is today. The occupation also left behind a warrior spirit in the population that came to be put into action a few years after the last French ship sailed over the eastern horizon. Lovely people and extremely beautiful women and all of them can deliver a lethal left hook....

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