Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Galantine

For appetizers before our Thanksgiving feast this year, I indulged in a couple of favorite works of charcuterie, turkey neck rillettes and a classic galantine, a boned out chicken stuffed with a pork, blueberry, and pistachio forcemeat. Here's a little step-by-step show-and-tell on how to make a galantine.

Cut Through the Skin Along the Backbone
Start with a nice large bird (bigger is easier to work with); this is about a 4-pound fryer. Make an incision from stem to stern (neck to tail). Cut all the way down to the backbone.

Following the Carcass, Cut Down to the Breast Keel
Using a flexible boning knife, follow the carcass down the sides. When you find the oyster, the little pocket of meat on the back just above the hip, you will find the hip joint just below (towards the tail). Work around the hip joint and then when you can see it, cut right through the joint. As for the wing, as you are cleaning the backside of the rib cage, you will find a free-floating bone above the ribs that leads directly into the wing joint. Grab this bone and pull it up into the wing joint where it will snap off. Where it snaps is where you will find the wing joint. As you did for the leg, clean around the joint and cut through it. Once through the wing joint, locate the wishbone and scrape it down to its point. Do the same thing on the other side. Be sure to remove the wishbone.

Carcass Removed, Legs and Wings Intact
Once you have cleaned the carcass all the way down to the breast keel. Lift the carcass so that you can see where the skin attaches to the breast keel and very carefully separate the skin from the bone with the tip of your knife, being very careful not to puncture the skin.

Expose the Thigh Tips and Clean Down to the Leg Tips
For each leg, make an incision from the hip joint down into the leg joint, following the bone. Scrape the flesh away from the bone to expose it as you see in the photo above. Carefully cut around the leg joint and scrape the meat down the leg bone. Cut off the bone tip with a cleaver or heavy knife and remove all the bone.

Remove the Wing Tips; Scrape Down the Wing Bones

For each wing, remove the wing at the second joint and then scrape the meat off the remaining bone to remove the bone.

Boneless Bird, Squared Up, Meat Evenly Distributed
Lay the boneless bird out on a cutting board and square it up. Where the breast is very thick, cut it down and use the breast meat to fill in places on the skin where there is no meat. Your finished product should be rectangular and roughly the same depth in meat all over as in the photo above.

Add Forcemeat to the Center, Bring the Two Halves Together
Place the forcemeat in the center where the carcass used to be. It will take about a pound and a half of forcemeat to fill a 4-pound chicken. Bring the sides together and tie with butcher's twine.

Tie and Roast
Here you see the finished bird, breast side up, rolled and tied and ready for the oven. Bake in a moderate oven (350F) until a meat thermometer reads 145F. Remove, let stand so that the carry through will bring the final temperature up to 155F, and chill.

Slicing the Chilled, Finished Product

Chicken Galantine with Pork, Blueberries, and Pistachios

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