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Chicken galantine October 9, 2011

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Chicken.
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I was so excited when this month’s Charcutepalooza challenge was announced: I had to take the skin off a chicken or duck in one piece, mince up the meat, and stuff it back into the skin before cooking it. It sounded fantastic! Plus, the Norman Bates / Silence of the Lambs jokes just write themselves.

I wanted to make the duck roulade for my Charcutepalooza entry, but wanted to start off with practicing the general routine of skinning a chicken before I tried the duck. Now, I read all the instructions quite a few times. I carefully skinned the chicken, pulling the skin away from the flesh and making sure not to cut any holes in it. I was really happy with my progress! And it wasn’t until I got the whole skin off that I realised I’d made a little mistake…

For some reason, when I read the instructions, I’d interpreted the direction to ‘cut around the base of the leg’ to mean, cut around the bit where the leg joins the body. So. Needless to say I had some unsightly holes in my chicken skin (I never thought that would be a sentence I would write!), but I did not think it was unsalvageable. I laid the skin out on some plastic wrap and put it in the freezer, and got on with preparing the rest of the meal.

I removed all the meat from the chicken, and diced up most of the breast meat. I cooked it in butter until it was nicely browned, and then put the pieces in the freezer to cool down.

I minced up the rest of the chicken meat with some pork fat, and mixed in some spices including salt and pepper, nutmeg, white pepper, ginger and cinnamon.

I transferred the mixture to a food processor and added egg whites and a cooked mixture of garlic and shallots. When everything was blended, I folded in some cream.

I was a bit concerned that my mixture was too runny but again decided to press on. I refrigerated the mixture while I got to work scraping the fat off the (now frozen) skin. It was actually more a case of removing the small blobs of fat on the surface rather than needing to scrape the whole skin. I also trimmed it so I had a more even shape to work with.

I added some of the mixture to the middle of the skin, and put the diced pieces of chicken breast on top.

As my skin was on the smaller side, I knew not all the mixture would fit. I piled as much of the mixture as I could into the skin, then rolled it up in plastic wrap and sealed it with aluminium foil. I discovered when making mortadella that plastic wrap on its own has a tendency to melt in hot water. I ended up with one with skin, and two more packages of filling wrapped in plastic.

While it was poaching, I made the onion-raisin chutney recipe from Charcuterie; this was fairly straightforward as I just needed to simmer all the ingredients together until the sauce was thick. It included onions, raisins, brown sugar, cider vinegar, turmeric and other spices.

It only took about 20 minutes until it was done, and then it was a matter of leaving it and the chicken to cool overnight.

I was very happy that the chicken stayed together so well while I was slicing it! To be honest though, while I was pleased at the process I’d learned while making this, I found the chicken a little underwhelming. It was quite nice, but not much different from a standard chicken pate I have made before. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was hoping to be more impressed with the final product.

The relish was definitely the standout for the dish, and was flavoursome, sweet and a bit spicy, which was very nice. And I definitely learned not to leave holes in my chicken skin next time!

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