Years ago, I made a recipe from Jacques Pepin’s great cookbook, La Technique for a dinner party. It was chicken that was deboned and stuffed with a chicken forcemeat, and covered in aspic. Served slightly cold, it was a fantastic appetizer but a lot of work. However, a galantine does not have to be so time consuming and difficult. The first thing is to learn how to debone a chicken, and still preserve the skin and meat. For this, I direct you to a YouTube of a young Jacques Pepin showing the technique: How to debone a chicken (Chicken Galantine).
I can guarantee that you will need more than 10 minutes to make the galantine, but it will get close to that time with practice. I remove the leg and wing bones (preserving the end of the leg as in the video) to make a full deboned chicken, using the carcase and other bones to make chicken stock. Once the chicken is laid out with the breast tenderloins in place (again, as the video directs, the tendon removed from the tenderloin), it is time to stuff the bird and truss it up. You can use your imagination–chicken mousse, leek and cheese and bread, etc. Tonight, I made a mix of mushrooms, fresh spinach, shallots, garlic and cream to stuff the bird, and served it with pan roasted fingerling potatoes.
Chicken Galantine stuffed with cremini and shiitake mushrooms, shallots, garlic and spinach.
For the stuffing mixture:
1 bunch fresh spinach (about 1 pound); you will get about 6 to 8 ounces after all the stems are removed
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1. Prepare the spinach by removing all stems. Thinly slice the two different mushrooms (don’t use button mushrooms here, you need the more robust flavors from the cremini). Place the mushrooms in a large skillet and sauté them with the butter.
2. Add the sliced shallots and then add the minced garlic. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted, then add the heavy cream and reduce until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool. As an option, run the mixture in a food processor to make a fine puree.
To cook the galantine:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using half of the spinach/mushroom mixture, stuff the galantine in the manner shown in the video. Truss the bird with twine. Place the trussed bird on a rack above a sheet pan or broiler pan. In the bottom of the pan, use a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and then cut fingerling potatoes lengthwise, placing the cut surface down in the pan (mixing it around to evenly coat the potatoes).
Season the skin of the chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. You can serve it as is, or warm up some of the rest of the spinach/mushroom mixture as a sauce.