Galantine is a way of preparing and presenting meat.
It is meat (fowl or other), or fish, that is boned, flattened, then has a layer of stuffing put on top of it, then it's rolled up like a Swiss roll (aka jelly roll) and poached. Often it's wrapped in cheesecloth before poaching to hold it together.
Though now a Galantine is mostly made with fowl, particularly chicken, early recipes for Galantine were eel (unstuffed) in jelly, or later, stuffed young pig.
The stuffing is usually forcemeat (though it's often described as pâté.)
The liquid it is poached in is used to make an aspic that is then brushed on the cooked roll. Edible decorations are stuck on the first coat of aspic, then successive layers of aspic built up on top of the decorations. Decorative items might include olives, pistachio nuts and truffles.
It is served cold.
Galantine is not the same as ballotine.
It's not certain where the word came from. Some speculate that it may ultimately come from the Roman word "gallina" (meaning "hen"), because "chicken" is "galina" in Occitan (provençal French), and "gallina" in Catalan, Spanish and Italian. This is tempting, but it doesn't take into account that chicken as the meat is a relatively recent development.
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