On a Roll (Charcutepalooza Challenge 10)

October 15, 2011 · 8 comments

Roasted Duck Roulade

These Charcutepalooza challenges can be frustrating at times, mostly because of their timing. More often than not, I have already made something using the technique of the month, just not within the month required by the challenge. In the case of the October challenge – stretching – I had already made confit, rillettes, and even a roulade, which left making a galantine as the one technique I had not yet tried. So, chicken galantine – chicken pâté rolled in chicken skin, poached, and served cold – would be my challenge.

To begin, I had to turn this:

… into this:

It took me about 45 minutes to disassemble the chicken. The bones went into the stock pot, the skin into the freezer, and the rest of the meat into the fridge while I assembled the fillings and seasonings. I chose chopped pistachios and shaved black truffles for a garnish.

I trimmed and sautéed the breasts and let them cool.

I used the same pan to make a reduction of Madeira, shallots, and garlic.

I ran the dark meat, breast trimmings, reserved liver, and some additional pork fat (which improves anything to which it is added) through the grinder.

I puréed the ground meat and seasonings (including the shallot reduction) in a food processor, then folded in three quarters of a cup of heavy cream. The resulting forcemeat reminded me of the emulsion I made to fill my homemade hot dogs.

I removed the chicken skin from the freezer, scraped off bits of excess fat, then spread half of the chilled forcemeat into a rectangle in the center.  I spread a layer of half of the pistachios followed by half of the truffle slices on top.

I set the two breast halves on top, followed by a layer of truffles, then pistachios, before covering with the remaining forcemeat.

As you can probably tell from the photo, I had too much filling, so I shaved off about a cup with a spatula and reshaped the rest into a smaller cylinder. After struggling a bit with the asymmetrical skin, I managed to cover almost all of the filling (the small gap would become the bottom).

I rolled the package into a tight cheesecloth-covered log, tying the ends with string and cinching some cheesecloth strips along the length of the roll for support.

I set the roll into a hotel pan, filled it with hot chicken stock, and poached it at 170 °F for 45 minutes. The middle long burner on my stove was ideally suited for the job.

I let the pan cool, then put it in the fridge for an overnight chill, which also re-set the stock into a think gelatinous mass. The next day, I extracted the cheesecloth bundle from the gelatin, and unwrapped it to reveal the finished galantine. (You’d never know there was a hole in the bottom.)

I sliced it through the middle of one of the breast pieces, revealing a well-centered inset surrounded by a layer of truffles and pistachios.

To serve, I plated a slice with a spoonful each of my homemade cranberry/orange/ginger compote and blueberry/onion jam.

The pâté was smooth and well-spiced, the breast meat cooked but still moist, and the pistachios added needed crunch. One slice of this rich, fatty galantine is enough; the sauces provided needed citrus notes and acidity. I’ll make this again, knowing that I can spread the work out over a few days instead of the twelve our mad rush I endured.

Duck Variations: Roasted Duck Roulade

As I prepared the galantine, I kept thinking about the duck roulade I had cooked previously. With the techniques fresh in my mind, I applied my newly-acquired skills to making  duck roulade filled with duck forcemeat and wrapped in duck skin. The steps were similar up to the trussing of the roulade, as you can see:

Similar, with one notable difference: removing the skin from a duck in one piece is considerably more difficult that skinning a chicken. And there is a lot of fat that has to be scraped off from the chilled skin before it can be rolled. Fellow blogger Peter came up with a much better solution, which is to debone the duck and leave the meat attached to the skin. D’oh!

Instead of wrapping the roulade in cheesecloth, I tied off the ends and trussed the rest as I would with a roast. (Yes, that’s another hole in the skin. Did I mention that skinning a duck is difficult?)

To provide better temperature control and avoid drying out the interior, I sealed the roulade in a sous vide bag with the sautéed vegetables (frozen to solidify the cooking juices, which would have been sucked out during the vacuum sealing).

After the roulade cooked in a 60 °C water bath for about two hours, I crisped the skin over high heat, which also rendered more of the subcutaneous fat.

After a fifteen minute rest, it was time to slice open the bundle of ducky goodness.

I served slices of the roulade over puy lentils, with haricots verts, chanterelles, a sauce made from roasted duck stock and sherry, and a purslane garnish.

This is some of the best duck I’ve ever eaten, more refined that the confit-based dishes I like to throw together. The moist filling was a contrast of smooth and chunky textures (although I’ll use a smaller sized dice of the breast meat next time) surrounded by crispy skin. Earthy lentils, meaty mushrooms, rich sauce – this was definitely a fall meal.

The advance-prep aspects of this dish haven’t escaped my notice. I can build a few roulades, sous vide them, store them in the fridge for a few days, and have a large-scale dinner ready to go after a quick reheating and crisping. But now I have to buy another batch of duck legs; I have a hankering for confit.

On a Roll on Punk Domestics

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