Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicken Galantina ( A Simplified Version)

I have a post on Chicken Galantina that I made two Christmas ago but it was a bit of the fussy kind. I finally made a newer version where not only the cooking process was made simpler, the amount of filling used was also simplified to three main ingredients: pork sausage, ham, and bacon. The end result has a bit of an Italian flair but it was really moist and oh so good. This new version also allows you to make a thick gravy that is equally good as the chicken so I'm hoping you guys give this dish a try.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
One prerequisite is that you have to know how to partially debone a chicken. By partial, I mean that the main bones including the thigh bones are removed except for the drumstick and the wing part. The reason for leaving the last two parts intact is more for aesthetics but you can definitely go the whole distance and completely debone the bird. However, I have learned that leaving the drumstick intact allows you to reshape the bird like it was not deboned but rather, just stuffed just like an ordinary roasted chicken. Also, after deboning the chicken, take the bones with the neck and liver and in a large pot, boil in about 5-6 cups of water together with big chunks of carrots, celery and onions to make a broth. Season with salt and pepper.

This is best cooked a bit on the early side especially the filling which improves the taste the longer it sits. The filling needs the time to come together not just in texture but also in flavor. You also need to give the roasted bird time to rest and cool down a bit. This is necessary to ensure that the filling do not fall apart when sliced into serving portions and helps keep the bird moist. Having a warm gravy poured over each serving also adds to the moistness of the chicken. 

Chicken Galantina (A Simplified Version)

4-5 lbs chicken, deboned
1/2 lb bacon strips
1 lb pork sausage
1 lb cooked ham, finely minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 large onion, finely diced
2 eggs
1/4 cup sherry or dry wine
1/3 cup diced pistachios
salt and pepper
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/4 cup olive oil

2 carrots, cut into wedges
4 stalks celery, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 large onion, peeled and cut into eights
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter
low sodium broth

1. In a large bowl, combine the sausage, diced ham, grated carrots, onions, 
    eggs and sherry. Season gingerly with salt and pepper. Both the ham and 
    sausage are already flavored so go easy on the salt. Let filling sit for 
    about 30 minutes. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
2. Lay the chicken cut 
    side up and season with 
    salt and pepper. 
    Arrange the bacon until 
    every exposed chicken 
    meat is covered with 
    bacon. Sprinkle with 
    half the pistachios. Top 
    with about half or two 
    thirds of the filling 
    mixture and sprinkle 
    the rest of the nuts. 
    Bring the two ends 
    of the chicken together 
    and seal using toothpicks or by threading the seams together with a 
    kitchen twine. Tie both ends of the drumsticks to make sure they 
    stay in place. Set aside the rest of the filling mixture. 

3. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a baking pan, layer the carrots, celery sticks 
    and onions and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the stuffed 
    chicken over them and make sure to tuck the wings under. Brush the 
    chicken with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and the 
    Herbes de Provence. 

4. Bake uncovered for two hours turning the baking pan several times to 
    ensure even roasting. Bring the pan out and spoon the roasted 
    vegetables and some of the drippings into a saucepan. Cover the 
    chicken with foil loosely and return to the oven. Bake for another 30 
    minutes. Check for doneness and the oven thermometer should clock 
    175°F as an internal temperature. Let it rest for about 30 minutes. 

To make the gravy, cook the roasted vegetables over high heat until caramelized. Add the butter and flour and mix well. Add 2 cups of broth and stir until mixed. Off the heat, mash the vegetable mix over a sieve into a glass bowl. Add more broth if necessary. Return the thick gravy into the saucepan and adjust the flavor with salt and pepper. If too thick, add more broth or water. Keep warm. 

To carve the chicken, remove the toothpicks or the twine prior to slicing into serving portions. Cut the drumstick and the wing part first. Breast side up, cut the bird in half and turn each piece sideways before cutting into 1-inch thick slices. Arrange each serving slice neatly into a serving platter. Garnish with parsley and serve the gravy on the side. Rice pilaf and roasted vegetables makes excellent side dishes to this dish. 

The filling is enough to stuff two birds but you can also make meatballs with them. I'll feature a post soon on what to do with the leftover filling mixture that is both economical and delicious. 

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