Galantine Chicken and Hasselbeck Potato Extravaganza with Mother Dearest

I had the extreme fortune of enjoying three consecutive days off with my mother on her latest visit, and of course we couldn’t help ourselves but cook and bake. Mom is fighting a current phobia that she is turning into a potato, so how better to address that fear than exposure therapy—  in this post, we hasselbeck potatoes and galantine chicken. New verbs for me. Who knew deboning a chicken could be so easy and elegant? But first, a sip of coffee on the porch.

I do believe this is the proudest I’ve ever felt over a dinner plate.

Galantine Chicken and Hasselbeck Potato Extravaganza with Mother Dearest

1 chicken, boned (see below)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Spinach, Cheese, and Bread Stuffing:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

5 ounces baby spinach leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup grated Gruyere or mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

1 1/2 cups cubed (1/2- inch) bread

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Overnight, brine the chicken in a large pot of salted water. Use about 1 cup of kosher salt in the water, completely cover the chicken. Tuck lemon slices just under the skin of the breast of the chicken and add 1 TB dry sage to the water.

For the Stuffing: heat the oil in a large saucepan or skillet.  Add the garlic, spinach, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute to soften the garlic and wilt the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.  Reserve the cheese and bread and continue with the recipe.

How to Galantine a chicken—Really, Jacques Pepin has the definitive video that I reviewed with my mother to figure out how to do this.

First you cut the back.

Then you remove the wishbone and cut the shoulder (elbow? unsure of chicken anatomy) joint and remove the wings.

Gotta cut a little more and pull all the skin down over the body like you are removing the chicken’s pajamas, and pull out the carcass (with the tenderloins attached, which you can remove later).

You need to then deal with the thigh bones. Cut at the joint and invert the leg bone, cutting all the meat back to the top of the bone, then put it all back, break the bone at the neck and pull the majority of the long bone out.

It is really beyond any capacity of prose to capture how to do this visuo-spatial chicken geometry. So I will leave it up to the video and this series of pictures to illustrate the chronologically play by play.

When it’s all flat, cut those tenderloin filets off the carcass and use that meat to patch in any holes around the little meat blanket you have before you.

Then you stuff the thing.

Lay the chicken skin-side down on the work surface and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Spread the cool rice or spinach mixture evenly over the chicken. If using the spinach stuffing, sprinkle the cheese and bread cubes on top of the spinach. Roll the chicken up, tie with kitchen twine, and place in roasting pan, sear both sides before putting the roast in the oven. We found it helpful to clip the skin together with a butterfly office clip while tying with twine.

Roast the stuffed chicken package for 1 hour.  Lift it from the pan and place it on a platter. Meanwhile, you can cut these potatoes on the top like a sal bug, leaving a small little <1cm margin on the bottom not cut through. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with your choice of seasonings and roast for 1 hour (you can fit in with the chicken if your oven is big enough).

Transfer the ballottine to a cutting board and remove the twine.  Cut half of it into 4 or 5 slices, each about 1 inch thick.

Don’t forget to freeze the bones and the neck, gizzard, and heart for later use in soup or stock.

Thank you so much, Mom, for coming to New Orleans and sharing your kitchen magic, and your beautiful smile and presence. You are not a potato.

 

 

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