07 Dec2006

Boneless Chickens…

by Marketman


Chicken Galatina was perhaps the number one request from readers when I polled them on their Christmas food wish this year. Yikes! I had never made this dish and it was never big in our home when we were growing up. And worse, the first necessary step to a Galatine (after the classic French preparation) is to de-bone a chicken. First you need resolve to remove the bones of an animal (a pet to some, even), second you need a sharp boning knife or you will be tugging at the meat, muscles and tendons, and third, you need to set all thoughts of violating the chickens “fowl rights” by freeing it of its bones. No wonder I never considered medical school, this task of de-boning was wickedly unliked. Only after the sordid ordeal did a friend tell me that you can buy the bloody chickens cleanly de-boned. Where you ask, she didn’t let me in on the secret yet. And I would want a psychological profile of the person who de-boned the birds all day…

A spineless, boneless chicken is actually kind of neat. It’s the getting there bone2that will give you nightmares. But rather than my butchering the explanation, I found a website here that I used to guide me through the de-boning. I improvised in some instances and just ripped the bone out with caveman-like ferocity. The results are photographed here. This chicken was ready for stuffing and trussing… It is odd that I would dislike this task, as I have happily de-veined many a foie gras before, filleted several fish, and worked closely with beef, pork and lamb… but working with an entire being (i.e., a small chicken) was unnerving. At any rate, mission accomplished. My first Galantina coming up in the days ahead. Anyone remember Gumby? Somehow, spineless jellyfish sounds so much better than boneless chicken…



  1. ThePseudoshrink says:

    I made chicken galantina last Christmas and deboned the chicken myself. I don’t have any problem with deboning a chicken—just don’t make me kill one! As I don’t have a sharp boning knife, I just used a few surgical lancets, which worked fine enough for me!

    Dec 7, 2006 | 10:17 am


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  3. mia says:

    hi marketman! not related to your post but your site was down again for several hours last night. just thought you might like to know if you didn’t know yet.

    Dec 7, 2006 | 10:38 am

  4. ykmd says:

    For some reason I can picture you wearing goggles, mask, your Marketman apron and orange crocs while deboning with flair and finesse :) Will await your galantina post to see the final outcome!

    Dec 7, 2006 | 11:00 am

  5. jaili says:

    We order chicken galantina from Lily (near Espana) tel number is 781 23 06.

    Dec 7, 2006 | 11:11 am

  6. toping says:

    Is it galantina or galatina?

    Tried deboning a chicken once and I’m never doing it again! Followed the intructions from this page:


    Dec 7, 2006 | 11:30 am

  7. Maria Clara says:

    This is a dish where I will not stick my head into. Lots of work involved. After stuffing it, you need to saw it together so the meat filling will not escape when you cook it. Then wrap the stuffed chicken as tight as you can with cheesecloth or aluminum foil to give it that plump look. When my paternal grandmother was around this is one of her signature dish – galantinang manok. We just make embutido, it is the same stuffing but less work.

    Dec 7, 2006 | 11:44 am

  8. benchorizo says:

    I haven’t tried deboning a chicken myself but Jacques Pepin makes it look so easy. I saw one of his shows before where he deboned a chicken in about 1 minute. Meanwhile, I can try your butter, rosemary and lemon roasted chicken. Keep it up!

    Dec 7, 2006 | 1:09 pm

  9. peterb says:

    I’d really like to learn how to do this or even better learn where i can buy it…or should it be the other way around? :) In any case, i can imagine using a fully deboned chicken for so many dishes! Looking forward to that Galantina of yours!

    Dec 7, 2006 | 1:24 pm

  10. Ichabod says:

    I get my deboned chicken at suki mart, as long as the butcher isnt that busy, tip the butcher 20 bucks and he’ll do the dirty work for you.

    Dec 7, 2006 | 2:03 pm

  11. misao says:

    my mom would ask her suki to debone the chicken for her. i’ll wait for your post as my mom asked me to make one during the holidays. hope to try your recipe.

    Dec 7, 2006 | 3:11 pm

  12. tulip says:

    There are some stalls in Suki Market in Mayon St.Q.C., Farmer’s in Cubao and Arranque in Recto willing to debone chicken. There’s a technique in deboning, if you got the right technique you should be done in less than 20 mins in your first attempt.
    Marketman, good thing you didn’t faint! hehehe

    Dec 7, 2006 | 3:28 pm

  13. stethacp says:

    Magnolia Chicken Stations would debone chickens at a higher price, i think its about 190+ per kilo of deboned chicken.

    Dec 7, 2006 | 6:32 pm

  14. millet says:

    P190/kilo? that’s too expensive, considering that it’s a pretty easy process once you get the hang of it. there’s another method which does not require making that long vertical cut..you simply work around the skeleton from the neck and bottom cavities. i prefer chicken relleno to galantina, though – the browned skin of the relleno is more appetizing, and the relleno spices make it more flavorful. the drippings make very good gravy pa.

    Dec 7, 2006 | 7:06 pm

  15. edee says:

    millet, chicken relleno?….care to share the recipe? :)

    Dec 7, 2006 | 7:26 pm

  16. joey says:

    They taught me to do this at school (yup, not too bad for a tart huh ;) )…I forgot how to do it but I do remember that I enjoyed it! I always volunteered for chicken duty. I actually love working with “entire beings”…chickens for now, but I intend to move onwards and upwards as skill and space allow :) Will you be putting step by step deboning instructions in your galantina post?

    Dec 7, 2006 | 10:12 pm

  17. trishlovesbread says:

    What’s the difference between chicken relleno and chicken gallantina?

    Dec 8, 2006 | 1:18 am

  18. Mandy says:

    spineless/boneless chicken reminds me of “cousin boneless” from the cow and chicken cartoon series. (he actually looked like a trick rubber chicken). heehee. my mom loves this dish. but me personally, i’ve never tasted this dish pa ever. kinda like an embutido with chicken around it ba?

    Dec 8, 2006 | 1:56 am

  19. Maria Clara says:

    MM, I hope you do not mind if I address Trishlovesbread question based from watching and asking family members did their cooking in their golden years – rellenong manok and galantina stuffing has all the superb ingredients ground pork with some fat in it like 15% fat, chopped chorizo de bilbao, Chinese ham, grated queso de bola, butter, chopped onion and crushed garlic, pepper, salt and lots of eggs to bind together the stuffing. Some people they use sausages, spam, frankfurters and other canned ham, stale bread and flour but we never use any of these. Some people put in hard boiled eggs in the middle of their stuffing again we don’t do that. Galantina has carrots and sweet relish whereas relleno has raisins and roasted bell pepper. Both are wrapped in cheesecloth to give them the plump robust look. Both are boiled in pot of water with celery, onion and black pepper for two hours. Let them cool, and here is the big difference: the galantina ends up in the freezer to firm up and taken down an hour before serving. Galantina is served cold. Relleno is deep fried in a vat of oil and serve warm. Both can be served with gravy on the side from the broth by reducing it, seasoned with salt and pepper and thickened with a cornstarch.

    Dec 8, 2006 | 2:15 am

  20. seadaisy says:

    Looking forward to the process of deboning and making of Galantina.. Hope it is in time for our Xmas dinner.

    Dec 8, 2006 | 2:42 am

  21. Jacqui says:

    Why, oh, why did I just discover this blog? I cannot get enough of reading your witty repartees (my favorite so far is your Cebu Pacific rant!). I kept on going back to the computer (thank God, the little ones are napping now!) to read some more. I even had to make up a story about meeting a deadline to deter my preschooler from playing his Disney games. Liar, liar, pants on fire!

    Dec 8, 2006 | 7:42 am

  22. bettina says:

    I saw deboned chicken being sold at the grocery of Market Market.

    Dec 8, 2006 | 8:23 am

  23. Marketman says:

    Geez, I feel like an idiot, all these de-boned chickens for sale… Jacqui, welcome on board, keep checking the archives, there are over 850 posts thus far… Galantina attempt coming up in the next few days. I just got through a big dinner at home so I am exhausted… Maria Clara, I will try to address the confusion between galantina and rellonong manok…

    Dec 8, 2006 | 10:04 am

  24. marga says:

    MM, Iam excitedly waiting for your Chix galantina recipe. I enjoy eating both Relleno and Galantina but I don’t know how to debone them neither will I even attempt to do so. I know most chix dealers in the market debone for a pittance but you have to let them know 1 day in advance.

    Dec 8, 2006 | 11:14 am

  25. Katrina says:

    Like Millet, I prefer Relleno to Galantina too. I’ve only ever enjoyed Galantina when it’s heated and served with gravy. Otherwise, I find it bland. And the coldness of it turns me off.

    Joey, wow, they taught you that in high school?! We never had anything that complex in our Home Ec. classes. Maybe because I didn’t go to an all-girls’ school (aka housewife school…kidding!!!)?

    Dec 8, 2006 | 2:31 pm

  26. joey says:

    Katrina, you are more right than you know! A topic for a future discussion ;)

    Marketman, I bought the yogurt! One huge bucket! I’m having some right now with some jam and it is good! Nice and thick, and plain so I can mess around with it. They also carry, under the same Australian brand, “Greek style” yogurt, but they have fruit topping and no plain one. I bought one too…also very good and super creamy (the yogurt not the fruit topping). You can always just scrape off the fruit topping :) Thank you S&R fairies! :)

    Dec 8, 2006 | 3:02 pm

  27. stef says:

    I don’t cut the skin lengthwise on the back. Just start at the backbone (or the cartilage at the base of the chicken breast) and work my way through, scraping the flesh away from the bone. I think it’s easier than having to sew a chicken back up. Got a post about this, but probably won’t be up ’til next week at noodlesandrice.com.

    Dec 10, 2006 | 1:45 am

  28. Marta says:

    Hi Marketman! I got some deboned chicken at FTI yesterday, Its the lady who sells the Magnolia chicken. She was quite reasonable too as I got almost four kilos of chicken and it cost less than 600 pesos. i cannot debone a chicken to save my life as I will probably massacre it. I like it in one piece with no cut down the middle. My husband debones it really well, he has the patience. In my family, galantina is boiled, and relleno is roasted. How we love left over galantina stuffed into a warm pan de sal! Happy cooking!

    Dec 10, 2006 | 10:38 am


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