Wednesday, August 31

Chicken Galantine, Remoulade of Celery Root & Heritage Carrots

This is old school French cooking at it's best and a great way to make an expensive bird go a long way (this is a blog with numerous and unintentional sexual innuendo - apologies). The definition of 'galantine' is a cold dish of meat or poultry which is boned, stuffed, cooked, then pressed into a neat shape. In a nut shell, you bone out a whole chicken and fill with force meat or stuffing before rolling back into a cylinder shape and cooking.  Boning a chicken may seem daunting but it is fairly easy if you take your time.  Monsieur Pepin has a good demo on youtube if you fancy having a go: For this dish get yourself to the stuffing stage and please save the bones for stock.

Remoulade is usually made with celeriac, finely shredded in a mayonnaise based mustard and caper sauce. However I was at the recent Westonbirt Arboretum Tree Festival and a local organic farmer had the most amazing celery root and heritage carrots in yellow, purple and white. I bought them because they were beautiful then had to scratch my head to come up with a fitting way to cook them. The answer was actually not to cook them - hope you like it.  For four to six depending on the weight of your meat (apologies again):

A small free range chicken
100g free range chicken livers
3 quality plain sausages
A large handful of soft herbs like sage, parsley, tarragon, chives etc
A large handful of soft breadcrumbs
300g heritage carrots (or standard ones) - peeled
200g parsley root (or celeriac) - peeled
A small handful of finely chopped red onion
1 tbsp Dijon
1 tbsp wholegrain
1 tbsp drained lilliput (small) capers
150ml quality mayonnaise - shop bought or home made
1 small handful chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Follow the youtube video and get your chicken to the stage where it is boneless, flat on the board but not yet stuffed. I want the stuffing to be quite pâté like so split your sausages and throw the meat into the bowl of a food processor. Add the mixed herbs (not the chives), liver and a good pinch of seasoning and blend until smoothish. Add the breadcrumbs to make a thick sloppy stuffing. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper then spread the stuffing mix all over the inside. Now roll up the chicken into a thick cylinder with the breast portion uppermost and the cut sides tucked neatly underneath fully encasing the stuffing. Season the skin with salt only then carefully and tightly roll up in cling-film fully wrapping the bird and retaining the cylindrical shape. Bake in the oven at 120 to 130c for 1.5 hours - the cling-film won't melt I promise. This low temperature method of cooking is a very good way to ensure a juicy end product as the bird is roasted gently and all the juices are retained by the cling-film self-basting the meat.

To check the bird is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the bird, leave for 10 seconds and pull out and touch to your lip. If it is really hot, lip burning hot then the bird is cooked. Allow to cool a little, set your oven to 220c and unwrap. Roast again for 20 mins or until golden and crispy. Set aside to rest - you want to serve this dish warm so there is plenty of time to make the remoulade. Mix mayonnaise with the capers, half the chives, the onion and the mustards - season well. Scrub the heritage carrots, don't peel or you will lose some of that amazing colour.  Then shred finely on a mandolin or take your time and do by hand, cutting the carrots first into thin strips, then into fine spaghetti. Mix with the sauce and check the seasoning. Slice the galantine into 1.5cm slices and serve with the remoulade, a sprinkle of chives, some dressed leaves and a cornichon or two.

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