Paupiettes de dinde with peas and carrots
The most common paupiettes you find in France today are paupiettes de veau. But since veal is so expensive, more and more people substitute turkey breast. One of the butchers at the Saturday market in Saint-Aignan makes paupiettes using the breast meat of guinea fowl (pintades). The paupiette is not as much about required ingredients as it is about method.
Flatten the turkey breast slices and add a dollop of stuffing
Walt and I made paupiettes the other day using thin scallops of turkey breast and a filling of ground pork with mushrooms, onions, garlic, and parsley. They turned out perfectly, if I do say so, and it was actually easy to do. I'm planning to make paupiettes soon with some thin slices of beefsteak that I have in the freezer.
Paupiettes rolled and tied, wrapped in strips of bacon
By the way, a "scallop" is a thin slice of boneless meat — une escalope in French, as in escalopes de veau milanaise, thin slices of veal breaded and pan-fried. When made into paupiettes, the thin slice of meat becomes a kind of shell, like a scallop shell, to hold the filling. There's also an old French term escalophe meaning "walnut shell" — same idea...
Paupiettes braised and served with their reduced sauce
The first step in making paupiettes is to pound out the slices of meat to make them as thin as possible. They need to be big enough to wrap around whatever filling you want to use. To flatten the meat slices, you use what in French is called une batte or un attendrisseur — a meat pounder or tenderizer.
First brown the paupiettes in oil or butter...
The second step is to make a filling. Chopped mushrooms and onions, for example, with herbs and bread crumbs, including (or not) a beaten egg as a binder. Or ground meat with the same kind of aromatic ingredients. Some chopped sun-dried tomatoes would be good, and then you could cook and serve the paupiettes in a tomato sauce. Whatever filling you choose to make, it should be highly flavorful, because the meat "shell" is fairly bland.
...and then add liquid, cover the pan, and braise them
The third step in paupiette-making is rolling up and tying off the little packages of scalloped meat with filling inside. It's not that hard to do, but it doesn't hurt if you have somebody to help you by putting a finger on the string as you tie the necessary knots.
The meat pounder or batte/attendrisseur
Spread a meat slice out on a work surface, and put a lump of the filling on top. Stretch and pull the meat, turning up the ends and then the sides to make a little ballotine or package. Wrap the package with a slice or two of bacon to keep the lean meat from drying out too much as it cooks. Then use two or three lengths of kitchen twine to tie up the package as you see in the pictures here.
To cook the paupiettes, first brown them in oil or butter. Then pour on broth, wine, or, for example, tomato sauce and cover the pan to let the little packages cook all the way through — it takes 30 minutes or more. Toward the end of the cooking, take the lid off the pan so that the broth or sauce can reduce and thicken a little. It should be a syrup or glaze that you can serve with the paupiettes and any side dish of vegetables, rice, or pasta you decide to have with them.