17 Dec2006


by Marketman


It’s origin is probably the classic French Galantine de Poulard, and for the last 40 years, I don’t recall ever eating a memorable Galantina, our localized adaptation to the classic dish. We never made this in our home, but often got them as presents and I was never thrilled with a slice of this served with some crackers or on bread. It always figured in Holiday buffets, simply because it was there. My gal2wife’s family are far more the Galantina converts, they having grown up with a cook who was fantastic and made this dish very well. So it surprised me when one of the most requested dishes for the Christmas holidays from Marketmanila readers was for a decent Galantina… so here is my first attempt… not the finest result but with my suggestions, you guys can probably pull off a very decent Galantina indeed. And don’t let the descriptions intimidate you, this is really easy to do (follow the suggested shortcuts)…

First debone a large chicken or two smaller chickens. I thought I would be ridiculous and debone the birds myself. Big mistake. Ask the butcher or your market suki to de-bone them for you. Gosh, how simple is that. Next rinse gal3the birds and pat them dry with paper towels. I marinated the whole de-boned chicken in calamansi juice, salt and pepper as suggested in a recipe attributed to Dolores Veloso Paterno in The Philippine cookbook…but frankly, if I were you, I wouldn’t bother…just do the following instead… take the de-boned chicken and smack it a few times with a meat pounder to try and flatten out the breasts (geez, that sentence is amusing), then all salt and pepper. Next prepare the stuffing or forcemeat. I used chopped ham, some bacon sauteed with onions and the some uncased sausage meat, some pickles, olives, roasted red peppers, golden raisins, vienna sausage (yikes is right, but I just had to try it this way), hard boiled eggs. Use what makes you happy, but essentially you are looking for finely ground or chopped meat (pork primarily, though veal would work too) – essentially I tried to have salty and sweet flavors, color, moisture, etc.

Then mix this all up and stuff the chicken and lay strips of pickles and eggs so that the cross-section cut of the final product looks interesting. Sew up the bird, or if on gal4the shortcut mode, simply wrap it very tightly in cheesecloth and tie it with string or the silicone ties that I featured here before. Then submerge it in chicken stock with onions, peppercorns, carrots, parsley and other seasonings and simmer until done, roughly 1 hour for a large chicken. Remove from the broth and let it cool, then either leave it in the cheesecloth or unwrap it and transfer it to some aluminum foil and wrap it TIGHTLY and store in the fridge for at least a day. Slice the Galantina and serve cold or at room temperature. Some folks make a gravy from the broth to serve alongside the Galantina.

Marketman’s Galantina came out looking pretty good for a first attempt ever. But it was a bit dry, lacked flavor and felt like it shouldn’t have been the object of so many pleas from readers for a recipe. So what did I do wrong? I went back and reviewed several French recipes to find out what the underpinnings of our local version were… many ingredients gal5were similar, though the French versions typically have shelled pistachios for color and flavor, dried fruits such as chopped apricots, herbs such as thyme and cornichons (aha! I knew there was a reason for putting those blasted sweet pickles). I also noticed that some folks would cheat and add small bits of cubed bread soaked in sherry or white wine or perhaps even milk so that VOILA! it didn’t turn out too dry! The French also simmered it in broth, though some Filipino recipes, including the one of my wife’s family’s cook, uses a steamer which makes sense to me as the flavors don’t just leech out to the broth. So here is the final analysis and Marketman’s suggestions for your Galantina this Christmas… Buy your chicken de-boned. Get the biggest one you can find say 1.5-2.0 kilos. If you can afford it, use a free-range bird for added flavor. Next, balance your stuffind so it isn’t overly dry or overly salty or overly sweet. I would suggest you saute the onions, ground meats, etc. in advance. Axe the vienna sausage, it is just too bizarre for words. Use chopped apricots if you have them, golden raisins as a second alternative or black raisins in a pinch (they look like garapata or engorged ticks to me, no?). I would recommend some bread soaked in milk or white wine for moisture. Stuff the bird fully and tie it up tight like your life depended on it. Either simmer it for 40-45 minutes (but make sure it is cooked) or steam it for the same amount of time for less flavor loss (I suspect). Definitely serve it with gravy. Use a VERY sharp knife to cut it. Enjoy!



  1. misao says:

    wow! this is so timely. tomorrow would be my first attempt to make galantina. my mom just bought a deboned chicken this morning. i already pre-soaked mine in a brine solution. i’ll try it with the apricots. i still have some dried apricots left from my oatmeal cookie experiments. do you think dried cranberries would work as well?

    Dec 17, 2006 | 6:59 pm


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  3. Marketman says:

    Dried cranberries might work but soak them in hot water for at least 45 minutes before you use them… They certainly would add much needed color…

    Dec 17, 2006 | 9:41 pm

  4. Mandy says:

    this is one of my mom’s favorite. i remember her ordering it all the time at bon apettit at rustan’s everytime we’d eat there. must forward her this post. :)

    Dec 17, 2006 | 11:09 pm

  5. normita says:

    MM, Galantina and chicken relleno are they the same? I remember my lola used to make chicken relleno with the same ingredients but instead of cooking the chicken in stock, she steams the chicken in a big kawa.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 6:11 am

  6. catalina says:

    Galantina is steamed; relleno, roasted. My family prefers relleno, for its golden skin–and the aroma of the bird roasting in the oven, amoy pa lang, ulam na :-)
    My husband, a dyed-in-the-wool sabungero, de-bones the chicken from the neck and tail cavities only, no need to slit the chicken and sew it up later.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 7:40 am

  7. Marketman says:

    normita, yes there is a difference, but over the last few years folks have sometimes interchanged the names, thereby adding to the confusion… I think the clearest answer may be that Galantina is served COLD while Rellenong Manok is meant to be served HOT. Galantina is often steamed, but if you follow the classic French preparation from which it is almost certainly derived (name alone gives THAT away), then it is slowly simmered in a broth, NOT steamed, and this is the way that many of the arly Filipino cookbooks suggest you cook it, simmering in broth. I do, however, understand that steaming it may result in less leeching of flavors into the broth. Either way, simmered or steamed, it turns out an anemic looking pale result. Relleneng manok on the other hand is browned and therfore to some, more appetizing looking. It can either be pan-fried to brown the skin or it can be BAKED in other iterations of the same dish… There are various stuffings for either dish but essentially they comprise the wide gamut of pork or pork products, some pickles or olives, some dried fruit for sweetness and some bread with wine/milk/sherry for moisture…

    Dec 18, 2006 | 8:05 am

  8. socky says:

    Wow, it’s from reading these blogs that I really feel the Christmas spirit. All the cooking, all the preparations, all the eating! I feel like a twelve year old watching my mom and foodie sibs go gaga over the Christmas menu. I remember tuloy my mom’s stuffed chicken (with malagkit rice, liver, etc. yes, chicken liver!) that would always be the centrepiece of our many Christmas celebrations. I think she added liver in the stuffing knowing I loved it. I think I’ll ask my sister for the recipe and post it.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 8:57 am

  9. marga says:

    Chicken Galantina or relleno does not matter to my family. I love eating mine as filling for sandwich. Some people pan fry their sliced galantina leftovers and eat as sandwich too.I have yet to try making my own and I will certainly try doing it according to your recipe. My problem is slicing the galantina/ relleno into perfect slices that they still hold their shape. Any suggestions aside from using a sharp knife???

    Dec 18, 2006 | 10:37 am

  10. frayed says:

    Bonjour from Montreal! My favourite way of eating chicken galantina (when I used to eat that stuff anyway) was to eat the leftovers as a sandwich with mayo and mustard.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 12:16 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    Marga, when you cook it, the cacha or cloth an dstring tied around it has be be really tight…so esseentially, everything is mushed together.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 2:12 pm

  12. Maricel says:

    Ha! Ha! Garapata! Just like I describe it. Eewww! And I absolutely abhor the taste of raisins in savory dishes.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 2:23 pm

  13. C says:

    I guess I’m lucky coz my mom makes really good galantina and she’s been making them for like forever (she even debones her own chicken). Thus, the thrill of the galantina is lost on me. And well, I can’t help comparing her galantina with others’. If it doesn’t taste remotely close to hers, it ain’t galantina for me!
    I can’t remember though is she bakes it or steams it…

    Dec 18, 2006 | 3:27 pm

  14. brian says:

    just out of curiosity MM, what brand of kitchen knife do you use? do you get it sharpened in manila?

    Dec 18, 2006 | 5:17 pm

  15. misao says:

    i think my first attempt turned out fine. i didn’t put the cranberries, though, because my brother won’t let me (he doesn’t like cranberries). i used chorizo de bilbao instead of vienna sausage, then half-steamed-half-baked the dish. i forgot to take a picture (souvenir of firsts) because my brother was so excited to taste it that he cut it up before i was able to get my camera.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 8:45 pm

  16. millet says:

    sliced black and green olives add good flavor and color. raisins for our relleno, none for galantina. no vienna sausage but lots of chorizo de bilbao for both – finely shopped in the forcemeat, and halves in the middle. instead of tying up my galantina and ham, i used to stuff them in nylon hose/stockings (new, of course). they worked fine, that is, until i realized i was probably leaching chemicals and toxins onto the meat (?). so it’s back to kitchen string and cheesecloth.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 9:21 pm

  17. aleli says:

    My mother makes both chicken galantina and relleno. One is cooked in broth and the other is cooked in the oven using a steam bath method. I find both to be equally good, at least the ones she makes. I believe she got the recipe of either one from the cookbook by Pat Dayrit. You might want to check it out.

    Dec 19, 2006 | 12:50 am

  18. joy says:

    re: cacha

    i remember one christmas when my aunt tried to make galantina, someone must have forgotten to remove the part of the cacha or flour sacks that was printed…

    lo and behold, when they opened the galantina… the chickens looked like mga presong takas sa munti sa dami ng tattoo..

    the print got transferred to the chicken skin ….hehehehe =)

    Dec 19, 2006 | 2:13 am

  19. Maria Clara says:

    My descendants once told me when they made the galantina before the advent of the refrigerator. They used the ice cream maker (galapinyera – spelling???) hand-cranked fashion or took them to cold storage place ice plant to firm up and keep them cold. When we have galantina. we always have sopas or noodle soup to recycle the very rich galantina broth. We never used vienna sausages. We always use chorizo de bilbao or Chinese ham. There is no definitive recipe your broad imagination and creativity are the guidelines. Chorizo gives more depth and complex flavor. Now, for a new millennium era, I use unflavored gelatin the powdered ones (Knox brand) besides eggs for the binder. I bloom first the gelatin before adding it to the meat mixture. Before I fill in the deboned chicken or wrap it in a cheesecloth for embutido, I run a test of the filling by frying a little portion in a pan for seasoning adjustment and binding ability. When you cut your galantina it is like a terrine all intact nothing falling off assuming you serve it cold.

    Dec 19, 2006 | 4:06 am

  20. Gigi Santiago says:

    MM! I like it that you’re very honest with your assessment of the dish you made. I’m honestly not a fan as well of galantina. I prefer embutido. I can eat galantina only if it has a gravy or if used as a sandwich filling with thinly sliced apples, what I call dijonnaise (mayo + dijon) and lettuce… Otherwise, the chicken meat is just a dry, uninteresting, stringly shell to the stuffing.

    Interesting post nonetheless and again, much thanks for painstakingly indulging your readers… :)

    Dec 19, 2006 | 8:27 am

  21. seadaisy says:

    Thanks for the Galantina. Made it the other day and it was quite a success. It had bread soaked in milk ^_^ and was steamed. Thanks for the deboning site, it was a great help for someone who has never deboned a whole chicken before :-)

    Dec 20, 2006 | 2:40 am

  22. Marketman says:

    brian, at the moment, my favorite knife is a GLOBAL 10 inch chef’s knife. It is Japanese I think, with a single piece of steel. Sharpening in Manila is a PAIN in the rear. I sharpen my own but with mediocre results. If you buy knives from the dealer in the basement of Rockwell, they will sharpen them for you…

    Dec 20, 2006 | 6:08 am

  23. baby says:

    where can i get a cheesecloth? what is the other term for cheesecloth?

    Dec 27, 2006 | 11:38 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    You can buy cheesecloth at Gourdo’s cafe at Fort Bonifacio. Other cooks use a thin cacha cloth instead.

    Dec 31, 2006 | 9:29 pm

  25. sandy says:

    I love galantina. It is served chilled. Perfect with warm pandesal. Dulcinea has one of the better ones. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Dec 12, 2007 | 11:11 am

  26. chet santos says:

    hi, MM, i have been trying to do chicken galantina but i always fail. i will definitely try yours. Do you have any good recipe for callos? For me Almon Marina is the best I have ever tasted.

    Sep 1, 2009 | 3:45 pm


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