Chicken Galantine

(courtesy of Josh Deri, co-owner, Blend in Sparks. Serves 3 to 4)

1 whole chicken

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon lemon thyme, minced

½ Meyer lemon, zested

1 teaspoon Aleppo chile, dried and crushed

½ teaspoon toasted ground cumin

Salt, to taste

With kitchen scissors, remove wings and bottom of legs first, to more easily remove skin in one piece and reserve pieces for chicken stock.

Next, remove skin in one piece, working from back of chicken first, using tip of sharp boning knife.

Lay out skin on dry cutting board, and with knife, remove excess fat using scraping motion. This ensures less greasy chicken and crispier skin.

Remove legs, thighs, and breasts from chicken carcass. Slice breasts in half lengthwise and reserve.

With boning knife, follow natural seams of chicken legs and thighs, and remove as much meat as possible from bones. Combine with all aromatics and spices (you’ll want a little of the fat in this mix as well).

Pull dark meat, spices, and aromatics through meat grinder, or chop them finely with a heavy knife to achieve a similar texture.

To assemble galantine:

Lay out skin on dry cutting board in shape of rectangle. Season with salt. Spread mixture of dark meat and spices in even layer on skin, starting from bottom of rectangle. Add enough to create an even layer running three-quarters of the way up skin. Season with salt. Add reserved breasts and lay evenly on top of dark meat, leaving some room so you can see the dark meat mix on top and bottom of breasts.

Next, begin to roll cylinder to create galantine. Work from bottom to top, like rolling a burrito, tucking ends in after a couple rolls. Once tightly rolled, use butcher twine to tie off galantine in at least 5 even places; this will ensure it stays together during cooking.

In wide, short-sided pot filled with flavorful cooking liquid (water or stock) and aromatics such as sliced garlic, sliced onions, sliced lemons, or salt and pepper, bring cooking liquid to 215 degrees F. Then add galantine to liquid and cook until a kitchen thermometer inserted into tied galantine reads an internal temperature of 155 degrees F, about 25 to 35 minutes (check about every 15 minutes).

Using small fryer or pot filled with rendered chicken fat or grapeseed oil, set oil temperature to 365 degrees F. Once temperature is reached, begin frying galantine to crisp skin. While frying, move galantine around so that entire skin becomes crispy. Once skin is golden brown and of desired crispness, remove from fryer and season with salt and light squeeze of fresh Meyer lemon juice.

Serve with your favorite vegetables. Deri suggests morel mushrooms, fresh peas, fava beans, baby radishes, green garlic, or the Deris’ favorite: foraged wild Sierra onions and asparagus. Prepare and cut all vegetables and cook simply, with some butter and chicken stock. Add a little salt, fresh Meyer lemon juice, and freshly cracked black pepper.

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