- 1 Whole Pastured Chicken
- 3 cups chopped Collard Greens
- 1 cup Ricotta or Queso Fresco
- 1 Onion
- a few cloves of garlic
- 1 cup Chopped Walnuts
- ground Cayenne Pepper
- oregano & thyme
- 4 Tbs Lard, Schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), bacon fat drippings or Butter
- 1 cup chicken broth (make some from the bones)
- maple syrup
This is a recipe inspired by a YouTube video of Jacques Pepin deboning a chicken. Relax, just watch the video and don’t worry about doing it in ten minutes like Pepin. It took me an hour to do the first one but I had so much fun I did two chickens. And the second one only took a half an hour, ha! You end up with this funny looking chicken-skin-baby jumper.
I was unable to just crack the bones on our chickens with the back of my knife like he does in the video. I think because they are actual pastured chickens who run around a lot, their bones are just too strong to break! Which means they ought to make some good healthy mineral rich stock.
If you are making everything from scratch (stock included) debone the chicken first, stash it in the fridge, get some stock going with the bones and prep your stuffing in the meantime. Chop and set some onions and garlic on low heat in a large sauce pot in a bit of lard or schmaltz. You want these sauteed to be sweet and clear, stir to keep coated and evenly cooking.
Chop collard greens into small half inch pieces. Add to the caramelized onions pot with a cup of chicken broth. Salt and pepper. Stir to coat evenly, adding another spoonful of fat if needed. Cover and let simmer.
Use another spoonful of fat to toast some chopped walnuts in a skillet or in the oven. After they are slightly toasted, add a coating of maple syrup and toss with the cajun spices (cayenne pepper, paprika, oregano and thyme). Take these off the heat and let them dry a bit.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
After the collards have sufficiently cooked down (taste them to check for a soft texture), stir the mixture together with the walnuts and cheese. Smooth the stuffing inside the chicken, adding some extra spoonfuls of fat on top. Don’t forget to stuff some inside the legs and wings.
Carefully roll up the stuffed chicken and tie with some cooking twine. Watch the video for this. Rub some extra fat over the chicken skin, salt and pepper. If you want to be super extravagant, you can drizzle some maple syrup on for a glaze.
Roast the chicken in 400 degree oven uncovered for about 2 to 2.5 hours. Check to see that the juices run clear.
For a more traditional galantine, you could now chill the roasted chicken and serve as cold slices. We ate them hot, which was just as delicious.