08 Dec2010


This post on galantina was first published on 17 December 2006, but I am re-posting it here for the benefit of folks who haven’t previously come across it, and who are at the beginning or the midst of their Christmas food madness…

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 French 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 savvy, they having grown up with a fantastic cook who made this dish very well. So it surprised me when one of the most requested dishes for the Christmas holidays from Marketmanila readers in a recent poll 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 add salt and pepper. Next prepare the stuffing or forcemeat. I used chopped ham, some bacon sauteed with onions and the some naked sausage meat, 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 on the blog 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 stuffing 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. ECC says:

    My Mom usually makes this with a stuffing that is basically an embotido. Early this year, I invited some friends over and made this according to her recipe. I, however, roasted it in the oven and it came out really good! Not dry at all. A friend deboned the chicken for me. I did have a hard time sewing it up though.

    Dec 8, 2010 | 12:19 pm


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  3. Maggie Munoz says:

    Hi! Thanks for re-posting this. I’m preparing galantina for the first time this Christmas and will be using free range chicken. I’ll be following your recommendations. Any other advise you can give for a first-timer? By the way, I enjoy your blog.

    Dec 8, 2010 | 12:40 pm

  4. chad says:

    MM whered you get your chicken deboned? rephrased, who’s your beloved butcher? not many people know how to debone a chicken, and id wager supermarket guys will not even get what were talking about. so, where to go to get those chickens deboned? and roasting it like ecc says is a natural progression of events. i myself is thinking of permutations if i graduate from the galantina- chicken morcon perhaps or galantina roasted peking-duck style.

    Dec 8, 2010 | 12:51 pm

  5. Gia Mayol says:

    I once enrolled in a class offered by Rosemarie Lim of Caro and Marie in Cebu City. It was a hands on cooking demonstration on chicken galantina. She taught us how to debone the chicken, prepare the stuffing (the extra stuffing became embutido), bake the galantina, and how to decorate it and serve it on a platter. We each brought home a entire galantina and some 35 students had the same dinner that night. And oh yes, the stuffing had day-old bread soaked in milk and Vienna saugages. tnx for re-post MM!

    Dec 8, 2010 | 2:19 pm

  6. Lex says:

    Our family recipe makes use of ground pork as part of the filling mixture with 30% backfat. This is the standard ratio for sausages. We never added bread with milk. We also never used Vienna sausages and raisins but add chunks of SPAM. We even added canned truffles when available. Yum!!!

    Trick for deboning a chicken is to always start from the neck down. Disconnect the leg and wing joints before working. A small, very sharp paring or deboning knife is a must. For starters, a small knife is helpful. Butchers are so experienced they can do it with bigger knives. My first attempt took almost an hour. Practice makes perfect. You can always brag that you deboned your chicken yourself :-)

    Dec 8, 2010 | 3:30 pm

  7. Mimi says:

    Nice reading re-posts, MM. I’ll put Gallantina as Noche Buena dish 2010. I’d make a sofrito-style sauce though, am not really keen on gravy unless it is for chicken fried steak.

    Dec 8, 2010 | 5:46 pm

  8. Connie C says:

    A friend “frenchifies” her galantina by using herb de provence , a tsp of the ff. herb mix:

    3 Tablespoons dried marjoram
    3 Tablespoons dried thyme
    3 Tablespoons dried savory
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    1/2 teaspoon dried sage
    1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

    and garlic as seasoning, rubbing the herb mix inside the cavity after salt and pepper (salt and pepper to skin also) and adding it to the ground meats as well. And to make it over the top, she massages truffle oil over the skin. Lemon oil or olive oil may be substituted. She then bakes it at 350 F for 1-1 1/2 hours for a 2- 2.5 kg chicken and bastes with melted butter in between.

    Oh, she debones her chicken in the back from the neck down to the rear end which she keeps for the “looks”.

    Maybe you can make this a weekend project with a bettyQ like neighbor and freeze it for the holidays. And if you decide to debone your chicken, and are new at it, get an extra one just in case you mess up the other one which can always be made into your favorite adobo recipe. Enjoy!

    Dec 8, 2010 | 6:44 pm

  9. calorie-shmalorie says:

    “..black raisins in a pinch (they look like garapata or engorged ticks” – LOL! i avoid using them precisely for that reason.

    i think i’ve seen frozen deboned whole chicken at South Supermarket..

    Dec 8, 2010 | 8:45 pm

  10. natie says:

    Ha!!! i laughed at the same thing, Shmalorie—even though I love raisins cooked in anything…

    this seems like a project when one has really nothing to do..one day, MM…thanks

    Dec 8, 2010 | 9:42 pm

  11. Anything Under the Sun says:

    looks so yummy!!!

    Dec 8, 2010 | 10:54 pm

  12. Lannie says:

    MM, jealous of your silicone ties! I just put up a post about a stuffed chicken I made a few months back. You can see that I used a ‘Captain Hook’ needle ;) and cooking twine. I checked that site though for the silicone ties and hoorah! they now have a ‘silicone lacing tool’ too.

    Dec 8, 2010 | 11:56 pm

  13. thelma says:

    i must say that my brother-in-law makes the best galantina ever!
    the stuffing is so good and the galantina makes a good presentation on
    the table… …

    Dec 9, 2010 | 1:09 am

  14. EbbaBlue says:

    I was just in the internet yesterday (for full 3hrs), surfing on how to debone a chicken without cutting the back (some call it tunneling). I saw a U-tube site of a Pinoy in CA doing the video in his own kitchen..it was a very “raw” footage, but I got the trick. I have not tried though because I do not have all the ingredients. By the way, what is the difference between embutido and morcon? Also can I wrap the chicken in “pork-veil” instead of sewing?

    Dec 9, 2010 | 5:09 am

  15. present tense says:

    Love the narrative – wittier and more muscular ( if you can call it that )

    Dec 9, 2010 | 12:56 pm

  16. greens_blossoms says:

    We make chicken relleno…my late great grandmother’s recipe…i can’t debone but my favorite market suki does it for me..wings are intact so it retains its shape..ingredients for stuffing mixed then placed inside chicken…ground pork, egg, cheese, raisins, pickles, vienna sausage, chorizo..then baked in the oven with chicken stock….about an hour or so…more stock added so as not to burn and dry chicken….am on my 18th chicken relleno …oops have to check oven …

    Dec 9, 2010 | 6:05 pm

  17. Norma says:

    I found Jacques Pepin’s video on how to debone a chicken. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAekQ5fzfGM. Looks neat and easy. Perfect dish to make for Christmas parties!

    Dec 9, 2010 | 7:56 pm

  18. farida says:

    My mother used to do this and I never knew it was called galantina. She just called it stuffed chicken. I have watched her numerous times deboning a chicken and I never did learn to do it. It had always been delish and moist. Mom has passed on and must be doing one up above. But I will take a look at Jacques Pepin’s video. Might learn something from it.

    Dec 10, 2010 | 7:26 am

  19. MTriumph/DC says:

    I’d suggest brining the chicken for a juicier and more flavorful meat.

    Dec 17, 2010 | 9:47 am

  20. Fred says:

    I have one on a steamer right now. I’m crossing my fingers that it doesnt fall apart after cooking.

    Dec 24, 2010 | 1:01 pm


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