Galantines are so useful and handsome a dish in a large family, or one where many visitors are received, that it is well worth while to learn the art of boning birds in order to achieve them. Nor, if the amateur cook is satisfied with the unambitious mode of boning hereafter to be described, need the achievement be very difficult.
Experts bone a bird whole without breaking the skin, but to accomplish it much practice is required; and even where it is desirable to preserve the shape of the bird, as when it is to be braised, or roasted and glazed for serving cold, it can be managed with care if boned the easier way. However, if nice white milk-fed veal can be obtained, a very excellent galantine may be made from it, and to my mind to be preferred to fowl, because, because as a matter of fact, when boned there is such a thin sheet of meat that it but serves as a covering for the force-meat (very often sausage-meat), and although it makes a savory and handsome dish, it really is only glorified sausage-meat, much easier to produce in some other way. This is, of course, not the case with turkey; but a boned turkey is so large a dish that a private family might find it too much except for special occasions. On the other hand, galantines of game, although the birds may be still smaller, are so full of flavor that it overwhelms that of the dressing. The following process of boning, however, applies to all birds. To accomplish the work with ease and success, a French boning-knife is desirable, but in the absence of one a sharp-pointed case-knife may do. Place the bird before you, breast down, with the head towards you. Cut a straight line down the back through skin and flesh to the bone. Release with the left thumb and forefinger the skin and flesh on the left side nearest to you, and with the right hand keep cutting away the flesh from the bone, pulling it away clear as it is cut with the left hand. When you reach the wing joint cut it clean away, leaving the bone in the wing, and continue cutting with the knife close to the bone until all the meat from the left breast is released. Return to the back and continue to separate the meat from the bone, always keeping the edge of the knife pressed close to the latter, until the leg is reached; twist it round, which will enable you to get the skin over it, and cut the joint from the body bone. Proceed with the right side in the same way, using your left hand for cutting and your right to free the meat (to some this would be very awkward, and when it is so turn the bird round). The bird will now be clear of the carcass. Lay the bird flat on the board, inside upward, then cut out the wing-bone and proceed to the legs; cut the meat on the inside of each thigh down to the bone and clear the meat from it, cutting it each side until you can lift the bone out; then free the drumstick in the same way.
If it be intended to stuff the bird in form, it would be necessary to bone the leg and wings from the inside, but for a galantine it is useless trouble, as they are to be drawn inside the bird. Spread out the bird, having drawn legs and wings inside, season with a teaspoonful of salt and half a saltspoonful of white pepper mixed together, and rubbed over the flesh, which must have been made as even as possible by cutting the thick parts and spreading them over the thin ones. If there are any bits of meat clinging to the bones they must be carefully gathered together and chopped with a pound of veal and two ounces of lean cold boiled ham, with four ounces of fat, sweet, salt pork. (Butter may be substituted if pork is objected to). When all is chopped as fine as sausage-meat, season rather highly with pepper and salt. Spread a layer an inch thick over the bird; then add some long strips of tongue, some black truffles cut into dice half an inch square, and a few pistachio nuts. Dispose these, which may be called the ornamental adjuncts of the galantine, judiciously, so that when cut cold they will be well distributed. Cover carefully with another layer of force-meat, fold both sides over so that the force-meat will be well enclosed, form it into a bolster-shaped roll, tie it up in a linen cloth securely with string at each end, and sew the cloth evenly along the middle, so that the shape will keep even. Put it into a stewpan with stock enough to cover it, two onions, two carrots sliced, a stick of celery, a small bunch of parsley, a dozen peppercorns, an ounce of salt, and the bones of the bird, well cracked. Let it simmer gently for three hours and a half. Take it up, strain the liquor, and let the galantine get nearly cold. Take off the cloth; wring it quite dry; put it on again, rolling the galantine as tight as possible; tie firmly, and place it on a platter; cover with another platter, and place a heavy weight upon it to press it into shape. Let the stock get cold. Take off the grease. Add a half-teaspoonful of sugar and the juice of a quarter of a lemon to the stock, and reduce by rapid boiling to a half-glaze, that is to say, a jelly firm enough to cut into forms without being tough. Clear with white of egg in the usual way, and when quite transparent pour part into shallow dishes, leaving enough to cover the galantine. Color one dish a rich clear brown; leave the rest light. When the jelly thickens, but is not quite set, cover the galantine with it half an inch thick. When the jelly is cold, cut it into what are called croutons, which may mean vandyked strips, to be laid across, triangles, squares, or any fancy shapes; the pieces and trimmings are chopped to scatter over the dish or lay in small piles round.
Ballotines are small galantines made by treating small birds as directed in last recipe, only that the force-meat should have a larger 12 proportion of truffles, and be made of the same kind of bird; for instance, grouse would have rich force-meat of grouse. One grouse, however, would make two or four ballotines; quails make two, to be served as individuals. Galantine of Breast of Veal. - Bone a breast of young white veal very carefully, spread it out as flat as possible on the board, pare the meat at the ends for about an inch so that the skin may project beyond. Take all the scraps of meat that may have come from boning, provided they are not sinewy; take also twelve ounces of veal cutlet, and half the quantity of fat unsmoked bacon. Chop very fine, seasoning all rather highly. When the meat is fine, season the inside of the veal. Mix with the force-meat tongue, truffles, and pistachio-nuts or olives, all cut into half-inch dice (the tongue larger). So mix these that they will come at regular intervals through the stuffing. Roll the breast round the stuffing, which is not spread, but laid in a mass, and sew the veal together.
Fasten it up in a cloth, tie securely at the ends, then tie bands of tape round at intervals to keep it in shape.
Braise this galantine for six hours in stock, which may be made of a small knuckle of veal and the bones and trimmings. Vegetables as directed for chicken galantine.
Let the galantine be cold before it is untied. Garnish and glaze as directed for chicken.
Galantine is occasionally made of sucking pig, and is very popular in France. The pig must be carefully boned, all but the head and feet. A sufficient quantity of veal, of fat un-smoked bacon, and of bread panada must be chopped and pounded to make enough force-meat to stuff the pig in the proportion of one part bacon, two panada, and three of veal, seasoned with a teaspoonful of onion juice and two of powdered sage.
The pig's liver must have been boiled in stock, and cut in dice. There must be fillets or strips of rabbit or chicken, a few chopped truffles and olives. Mix well. Lay in the fillets as you stuff the pig, and when full sew up the opening. Try to keep the shape as near as possible. Then braise slowly for four to five hours, as directed for galantine of veal. Do not remove the cloth till it is cold.