Leave it to Chico Marx to come up with the right quote.
Our annual New Year's in Hudson, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), is a couple of days of great food, great drink and really great friends. It is also one of the two times a year I have the need to show off. I usually do something special from the field of charcuterie - a pate, a mousse, gravlax - things of that sort.
Since I have been making my way through Charcuterie, I decided it was time to revisit the galantine - something I hadn't made since my original foray through Jacques Pepin's La Technique 25 years ago. Except for the boning (in the case of Ruhlman and Polcyn skinning then boning), it is not difficult, just time consuming. That's the main reason I don't ha
I definitely wanted something better than a battery chicken, but I knew that getting something free range was unlikely with the kids home, so I headed to Dash's, a local smaller market. They advertise an all natural "Amish Chicken". I am pretty certain it's just a marketing ploy, but I thought I'd check it out. I didn't get very far on finding out what it was - I could see the damned pop-up thermometer from 5 feet away. Next to it was a "free farmed" all vegetable fed bird, so I decided to give it a try.
Imagine my surprise, when I unwrapped the bird, to find another of those damned pop-ups! They should be illegal! In fact, that caused, the only tear while removing the skin (luckily, Pepin's advice to use a piece of skin from elsewhere to patch the tear works quite well!). In brief, the process here is to remove the skin in one piece to use as a casing, the breasts as a garnish, the dark meat and some of the other trim to make a forcemeat, and the carcass and the rest of the trim to make a stock for poaching and in my case to make an aspic after poaching.
All went pretty well. I realized when sauteeing the breasts that there was too much meat, so I continued to cook one breast for lunch and split the other one. I also had way too much forcemeat (I measured precisely in grams, including the mushrooms and pistachios I added as extra garnish), but I think the extra might make an interesting filling for ravioli.
Since I haven't done this often, my skills at getting the casing smooth weren't perfect, but it was made with love. It was slowly poached on the stove top, though I think next time I'd use the oven for better temperature control. The last two photo show the galantine removed from the stock after being in the fridge overnight: the first still in the cheesecloth, and the second mostly unwrapped.
My game plan was to reduce the poaching liquid and clarify it for an aspic glaze. But, my wife came home and and asked what it looked like when I had shingles in '79. It was and the trip was postponed. So I had a choice, and decided to freeze it. I froze it right in the pan I poached it in, submerged in the poaching liquid. Bob delGrosso doesn't think I'll be happy with the result. I agree, but I had to try!
I'll let you know!