Worth The Effort?

I truly hope all of you faithful readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was fortunate enough to get to celebrate (and eat) Thanksgiving twice. Our first feast was at my mother-in-law's home, and included a perfectly cooked nineteen-pound turkey. As wonderful as our actual Thanksgiving dinner was, my wife and I are chefs by trade, and were left feeling unfulfilled since we didn't get to cook anything. So, we decided to do the whole more or less traditional meal again at our house over the weekend.Seeing as how we had just eaten a simply roasted whole bird a couple of days before, we thought it would be fun to use this opportunity as an excuse to do something a little crazy and creative with the turkey we purchased.

The turkey for our personal feast was a pretty typical, twenty pound broad breasted white Tom, and it was going to take some doing to make it into something truly unique. At Le Cordon Bleu Chicago, the culinary school where I am a chef-instructor, we teach our students a classic recipe using whole chickens called a galantine. It's basically a roulade constructed out of a boned out chicken, with the ground, sausage-like dark meat portions in the center, surrounded by the butterflied and flattened breast meat, all wrapped in the bird's own skin! If it sounds a bit gory and goopy, that's because it is...but that's what's so fun about making it!

My wife and I applied this technique to our substantially larger turkey, unsure of what the results would be. Fortunately, the results were delicious. While grinding the dark meat for the stuffing, I incorporated some bacon, garlic, sage, and rosemary, binding the whole mess with a couple of eggs, some cream, and a handful of breadcrumbs. After layering, rolling, and tying the galantine with butcher's twine, it was a bit too long for any of our roasting pans or sheet trays, but we finally managed to rig a rack-like contraption and proceeded to roast it to perfection.

All in all, the two or three hours of butchery and prep time makes the turkey galantine much more involved than just throwing the intact bird into the oven for a few hours, but after witnessing the visual impact on our guests, and tasting the juicy, harmonious, turk-a-licious finished product, my verdict is that the extra work was well worth the effort.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            1 Program(s) Found
            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.

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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
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            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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