Sep 10 2007

Galantine of Chicken

Large free range fresh chicken

Sharp filleting knife

2 large shallot or I onion

500gms minced pork

6/8 juniper berries

2 large cloves of garlic

1 generous tablespoon mixed fresh herbs

Zest and juice of a lemon

A glass of red wine

200grams (approx) chicken livers

2 handfuls blanched spinach leaves

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Chop the onion or shallots, crush the juniper berries in a pestle and mortar and crush the garlic to a paste with a little salt. Strip the zest from the lemon with a lemon zester or a potato peeler and squeeze the juice. Stir all together into the minced pork with the mixed herbs, a good slurp of red wine, salt and pepper.

Turn the chicken upside down i.e. breast bone underneath and m, making a long cut through the skin, carefully bone the chicken with a very sharp knife. I prefer a filleting knife with a flexible blade that i can slide against the bones. I leave the wing bones in to give a little structure. Be very careful not to puncture the skin.

When the carcass and the thigh bones are removed open the meat out flat and season well. Press half the pork mixture into the chicken followed by half the blanched spinach. Arrange the chicken livers on the spinach then complete with remaining spinach and pork.

Carefully close the chicken and sew up using fine string and a larding needle. Press the chicken roughly back into a chicken shape. Wrap in tin foil and place in a close fitting dish. Stand the dish in a Bain Marie and cook at 180c for one and a half hours.

Test with a skewer; if the juices run clear it is cooked through. If the juices are pink continue cooking for a further few minutes and test again.

Take the chicken out of the oven and carefully remove from the Bain Marie. Tip out the water and return to the pan. Press a heavy weight on top of the chicken. When it is quite cold put in the refrigerater.

Serve sliced on a large plate decorated with fresh sliced lemons and salad leaves.

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