Saturday, October 15, 2011


Although we’ve dabbled in charcuterie for the past few years, over these ten Charcutepalooza months we’ve still tried to stretch ourselves, trying to make new things in new ways. But this is the month we tried something entirely new. Chicken Galantine. What the heck is that? It is a sort of a chicken meat loaf that is poached in a gelatiney broth, chilled, sliced, and eaten cold. It’s lovely and light, and I was even able to tweak it so that it’s still on the eating plan!

It is a fairly healthy recipe to begin with, so to bring down the unhealthy fat, all that I had to do was to replace the added pork fat with frozen olive oil, as I’ve done in the past with sausage making. Now I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to convert those of us who are in the Great Cult of Pork Fat to consider Chicken Galantine or any kind of sausage made with olive oil, but, really, it’s not bad! 

For this I used the recipe from Rhulman and Polcyn’s Charcuterie, which looked like a fine recipe and differs from the other recipes I’ve seen that it uses Madeira instead of brandy.

The first thing you do is strip the skin off the chicken in one piece. Then you cut the meat off the bones, and use those bones, along with chicken feet, to make a slow cooked broth. The chicken feet are what will make your broth an aspic. I can’t ever put chicken feet in a broth without remembering the year our cute little neighbor child, Laura, told me about giving her dad chicken feet for his birthday, saying she gave him chicken feet “so that he can cook with it”.

Next, you make a forcemeat with the dark meat, shallots, garlic, Madeira, and some of the chicken liver if you like, running it through the grinder and adding a bit of fat, in this case frozen olive oil. It may not be necessary to freeze the oil, and it may blend in just as well as a liquid, but I’ve been freezing it anyway with the idea that it might incorporate better if it’s been frozen.
The meat and fat mixture gets ground again in a food processor with some cream and a few egg whites. I cut back on the fat again by using 1/3 the amount of light cream instead of heavy cream. You then fold in your garnish and seasonings: I added sliced and sautéed mushrooms, pistachios, a pinch of Spice Parisienne*, truffle salt, and some finely chopped fresh marjoram, thyme, and winter savory.

This mixture, with some seared breast meat running down the center is then wrapped in the chicken skin, bound with cheesecloth, poached in the aspic, chilled, sliced, and served with some kind of a sauce. (I know, I know, that chicken skin isn’t so good for you, and neither is that cream, but I just couldn’t resist! I did peel it off after it was poached and chilled).

*To make Espices Fines (Spice Parisienne)*, mix a teaspoon each minced bay leaves, white pepper, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and mace with ½ teaspoon each ground cloves, minced sage, marjoram and rosemary.

This Madeira sauce is inspired by a wine sauce recipe from Mary Margaret McBride’s 1957 Harvest of American Cooking, which uses sherry, lime, and currant jelly. Wine jelly can be made with any type of wine, and Marsala would be similar to the Madeira in this. For this, simply jell the same base with either gelatin or pectin. Apple pepper relish is also nice with the galantine.


For the base, simmer all ingredients until reduced by about a third, and then strain:

2 shallots, minced
½ c grape or apple jelly (use a non or low sugar type, the kind that is naturally sweetened with fruit juice. If you only have regular jelly, you may want to use less so that its won’t become too sweet)
a few sprigs each of marjoram, savory, and thyme
1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed slightly
dash of cayenne
½ - 1 tsp salt
½ c water
1-2 T lemon juice
½ c Madeira

For the sauce, mix ½ tsp arrowroot or corn starch with ¼ c water and mix into strained sauce. Heat, stirring or whisking, over medium low heat until it begins to thicken, and cook for another minute or two. Serve at room temperature.            

For the jelly, you can either jell with plain gelatin, which you use right away, or with pectin, which can be canned. For gelatin, which will make it more of a gelatin than a jelly, dissolve 1 packet of gelatin into 1/3 c water until dissolved and stir into strained sauce base (without the corn/arrowroot starch and butter). Chill for several hours until firm, and use right away. To jell with pectin, which will make it more of a jelly, use a low sugar type of pectin, like Pimona pectin or freezer jam pectin. Measure the sauce base and use the amount of pectin recommended for the quantity of liquid you have. Add the pectin to the sauce base, and heat, stirring, until it becomes glossy.  Pour into warm, sterilized jars, cap tightly, and process for 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate after opening.  You can also use approximately ½ c. apple pectin made from young apples instead of Pimona or freezer jam pectin.


1 c minced apple, green, honey crisp or any other firm, tart type of cooking apple
½ c minced onion
¼ c minced of your favorite red pepper, as mild or as hot as you like. I use a hot Thai chili. (HLC, skip the pepper and use an extra ¼ c onions for a nice apple onion relish).
1 c apple cider vinegar
3 T brown or turbinado sugar, or honey

Put onionapple and red pepper and cider vinegar and brown sugar or honey in a heavy saucepan and heat to boiling point. Lower heat and cook until thickened slightly.  Can be canned; process 10 minutes. 
And now, for a laugh, check out the Blog Breakdown Pie Chart cartoon from The New Yorker, September 26, 2011 issue.

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