Winter is definitely getting old- last weekend was gorgeous and it was a welcome change to be able to walk around Adams Morgan, get some Falafel, watch the drum circle in Meridian Park. This weekend, Sarah ran a whole half-marathon, while I did a lot of quality lounging- I think I set a PR on the couch-lounge front, so it was a big weekend for both of us.
So here’s the thing. We took it up a notch this week from pita pockets and dumpling wrappers. We wanted to go big, take on a challenge, show them what we’re made of, etc. If you are like us and watch food videos on YouTube in your spare time, I’m sure you’ve seen Jacques Pepin’s incredible collection of instructional videos. Of course, we were completely charmed by Pepin and decided to attempt a Chicken Galantine.
Chicken Galantine is the process of deboning a chicken, stuffing it, and then tying it back up and baking it. So, Point A is a whole chicken, and Point B is a chicken with no bones, stuffed with spinach and mushroom, and tied up like a pretty little package. Pepin is a pretty charming guy, and we thought it was going to take 10 minutes (since he took 10 minutes). It did not. It took us the better part of an hour, and lots of close calls with chickening out (ha) and eating a sandwich instead. But Sarah cracked the whip, so we did it, and now we are here to encourage you to try it too.
So basically- it can be done, even if you’re not Jacques Pepin. Our biggest piece of advice is to have a nice sharp knife, lots of patience, and someone to help you pause and play the video- your hands will not want to go anywhere near your computer as you do this. Also, start about 2.5 to 3 hours before you want to eat, because it will take you about an hour to prepare the chicken and stuffing (maybe more if it’s your first time), and it cooks for 1.5 hours. Also feel free to experiment with the stuffing. In retrospect we thought it would have been fun to add more garlic or pepper to give it more of a kick. But you can also add cheese or eggs, depending on what you’re ni the mood for. Good luck, let us know how it goes!
1 Whole Roasting Chicken
10 oz Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained completely
8 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
1-2 Tablespoons Butter
A Sharp Knife
1. Follow Jacque Pepin’s Video to debone the entire chicken and prepare it for stuffing.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter with 2-3 cloves of minced garlic until they get golden brown.
4. Add the mushrooms and turn the heat down to low until they start to release water and shrink a little.
5. Add the spinach, a pinch of salt and pepper (maybe some garlic salt if you would like) and turn the heat back to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. The key is that you don’t want it to be too cooked, since it will also continue to cook in the oven.
6. Use a slotted spoon to spread the stuffing into the chicken. Get as little liquid as possible, since it will make it harder to tie if there’s more liquid coming out of the chicken.
7. Truss the legs and tie it (galantine) according to the video instructions.
8. Place it in a roasting pan, in the oven, for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
9. After you take it out of the oven, let it rest for about 15 minutes to cool and absorb all the flavor before you untie it and serve.