One of the things I really enjoy about CharcutePalooza is learning to make new things while at the same time trying to figure out how to incorporate something familiar into each challenge. That point of reference could be a flavor, a texture, an aroma, an ingredient, or a technique. For the October CharcutePalooza, galantine, I drew from Chinese BBQ: soy sauce chicken and cold poached chicken with ginger-scallion oil.
Keeping with the Chinese influence, I decided to use the Chinese holy trinity of ginger, scallion, and garlic for the aromatics and shiitake mushrooms and wood ear fungus for the garnish.
When it came time to make the galantine, some parts were easier than others. Thanks the previous challenges, producing the forcemeat was a breeze. I was worried about skinning the chicken, though, as the recipe calls for keeping the skin in one piece. However, it was surprisingly easier than I thought. The only part I struggled with was separating the end of the drumsticks from the skin by pulling the drumsticks through “as if you were removing a tight shirt.”
Up until the point where I had the chicken breast laid out on top of the forcemeat, I was pretty confident that I’d be able to finish up this challenge without a hitch. I was wrong.
Rolling the galantine into an even cylinder proved to be extremely difficult for me. After a few tries, the best I could muster was a galantine shaped more like one of the Michelin Man’s appendages or Lumpy Space Princess. I was afraid if I didn’t tie the support strings tight enough the forcemeat would spill out.
In order to make the galantine a true Chinese soy sauce chicken galantine, I poached it in the mother sauce I created about a year ago when I made my first soy sauce chicken. The mother sauce is a combination of soy sauce, chicken stock, rock sugar, ginger, scallion, garlic, cinnamon, and star anise. Each time it’s used to poach something, fresh aromatics are added and the meat being poached deepens the flavor of the liquid. The soy sauce gave the skin that distinct brown hue that comes with every soy sauce chicken.
Yes, the galantine looked like a piece of poop as a whole, but when sliced it was hard to tell. Although the slices did come out a bit oblong, the flavors and textures were spot on. The wood ear fungus provided crunchiness and the shiitake provided a little more meatiness to the soft forcemeat. As is traditional in Chinese cuisine, I garnished the cold chicken galantine with ginger-scallion oil which was a nice refreshing contrast to the dark flavors imparted by the mother sauce. Overall, the dish was new yet familiar at the same time. Overlooking the failure to roll the galantine perfectly, I felt pretty good about how this month’s challenge ended up.
Chinese Mother Sauce (makes about 2 kg)
Mise En Place
- 1 kg chicken stock or water
- 0.5 kg soy sauce
- 0.5 dark soy sauce
- 100 g vermouth
- 100 g ginger, sliced and smashed
- 100 g scallion, roughly chopped
- 100 g garlic, smashed
- 100 g rock sugar
- 10 g black peppercorn
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Simmer for 2-3 hours, tasting every now and then and adjusting accordingly
Galantine Forcemeat Aromatics
Mise En Place
- 18 g ginger, minced
- 18 g scallion, minced
- 18 g garlic, minced
Galantine Forcemeat Garnish
Mise En Place
- 20 g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
- 20 g dried wood ear fungus, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes