Skin in the Game


In lieu of the unsolicited opinion, clumsy accusation and merit-less, par-baked verdict viciously slapped on my humble, equal opportunity galantines (see comments here, and here), by Art Institute of California Culinary Director Rudy Kloeble, I would like to reassure you, loyal reader of unwavering faith, bedrock morality and delectable charm, that the galantines and ballotines are all wrapped in the skin of the bird (or fish, or rabbit or plump captive coed), the forcemeat is a “farce fine” of ground and diced breast meat (for fish flesh) and that the cheesecloth holds the shape during the cooking process. I keep the cheesecloth on to prevent oxidation and drying out of the skin. My culinary integrity aims for platinum standards and while certain liberties may be taken, products are generally a proud representation of authenticity in either theory, practice and/or ingredient.

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Skin to win

 A more reasonable inquire on behalf of a culinary instructor would have been to inquire: “are the galantines breast meat wrapped in skin?” to which I would have happily replied: “yes, of course. Suck it”. To publicly dispute my reliable adherence to the kitschy classics of French Gastronomy (on my day off, snowbound and still in my bathroom well into the afternoon) will invite a well seasoned and sturdy retort.

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Caution: reading about galantines on this blog may give goosebumps.

Furthermore, as a matter of sanitary practice and cleanliness, I would suggest Mr. Kloeble use latex gloves on his non-knife holding hand in fish and chicken cutting demonstrations, to keep one’s hands a fingernails clean. Lead through example Sir. Cleanliness is the hallmark of disciplined handiwork (see Bernard L’Oiseau’s anecdote of the Troigros brothers clean aprons in “The Perfectionist”).  And unless there is reason to doubt the accuracy of my craftsmanship, effusive praise is preferred from the peanut gallery.  Make Galantines Great Again.  #MGGA

Let’s not throw shade on the ballotine; an equally refine fabrication similar to the galantine, only that it is served hot. To wit: Thanksgiving turkey leg ballotine.  Thigh muscle meat mixed with ground leg trimmings (meticulously cleaned of tendons), liver, cream, egg, confit chicken gizzards, diced heart, dried cranberries and so forth.  

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A leg up in the skin game.

Not to be outdone, consider the shad ballotine from the Eat The Rich days back in the nation’s Capital.  It is worth noting that my trusted, tall, infinitely capable and indispensable sous-chef Gerald at the time has been recognized by the JBF for his work at Maydan in the capacity of chef.  His skin is delightfully decorated and a pleasure to look at.

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Its a shad state of affairs when the use of skin is questioned.

But wait, there’s more.  Never before posted on this blog, the elusive and **Exclusive** Rabbit ballotine with black truffle and black trumpet mushrooms.  Rabbit wrapped and cooked in its outer layer of flesh (since the rabbits are skinned) and a bonus layer of pancetta. Close enough and good enough for government work.

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Rabbit ballotine with a loin, truffle and black trumpet bull’s eye. You are welcome, internet.

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