Inspired by crisp Peking Duck served in soft pancakes with crunchy cucumber and spicy sauce, the theme for our New Year’s Eve dish evolved to cater for mixed tastes and availability. No ducks or pork and veal mince were to be found post-Christmas, and plums hanging over a neighbour’s fence became the foundation of a tasty, thick relish. Begin preparations the day before New Years as the galantine requires overnight chilling, and the chicken bones can be browned and boiled with carrot, celery, onions and peppercorns to make a stock for sauce.
Chicken Galantine with Peking Flavours
Soften 2 chopped onions in 60g butter, with two cloves of garlic and a diced, thumb-sized piece of ginger, then set aside. Combine cooled onions with 600g minced chicken, three quarters of a cup of chopped pistachios, two thirds of a cup of fresh bread crumbs, and a tin of drained and diced water chestnuts. Bind with a beaten egg. Form stuffing into a fat sausage, and place lengthwise on a boned 2kg chicken. Fold chicken over stuffing and squeeze to make a neat roll. Secure with string at 3cm intervals. Roast in a 180ºC oven for 90 minutes, then wrap in foil and chill overnight.
Lightly caramelise a knob of diced ginger and 4 chopped garlic cloves with a double handful of roughly chopped plums without their stones in a small saucepan. When fruit starts to soften, stir in two tablespoons of brown sugar, a tablespoon each of soy and balsamic vinegar, and a teaspoon of dried chilli. Add enough reduced chicken stock to just cover plums, and let the mixture simmer away until thick and syrupy, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Give mixture a few pulses with a stick blender to smooth the consistency of the relish, but leave some identifiable pulp for textural contrast.
Prepare a batch of Peking duck pancakes, serve with sliced galantine, peeled and sliced cucumber, sliced green onions, and plum relish.