Wrapping and rolling one ingredient in another is a favorite technique in the Japanese kitchen. Unlike mixing or blending, encasing one food in another allows each ingredient to maintain its own characteristics while combining a variety of tastes, textures, and colors. Most often, the Japanese use only a few ounces of tissue-thin meat when wrapping another ingredient, but here’s a hefty roll similiar to a French galantine.
Bone the chicken breasts, being particularly careful not to cut or remove any skin. For each, slide a knife under the rib meat and cut away and out. Use fingers to separate the breast meat from both sides of the carcass; the fillets will cling to the breastbone. Pull breast meat down and off the bone. Trim off excess fat. With your fingers, separate the fillets from the bone. Each strip of fillet meat will have a stringy tendon down the center; to remove it, pull it toward you as you hold the fillet with the tip of your knife. Save the bones for stock making.
Combine the marinade ingredients in a shallow pan large enough to hold the two full breasts in a single layer. Score the thick breast meat lightly and marinate the meat, skin side up，while making the stock (about 30 minutes).
Place the bones in a
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry on paper towels. Lay each breast flat, skin side down. Take one strip of fillet meat and lay it down the center line of each breast, then another fillet strip across the top.
Peel and trim the carrot so that it’s as long as the widest section of breast meat. Cut the carrot into four strips, lengthwise. Trim the string beans and divide them into two bundles. For each breast, lay two carrot strips and one bundle of string beans across the width. Roll the chicken snugly over the vegetables, tucking in the rib meat on both sides. Tie the chicken so it will hold together well in cooking.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven that’s large enough to accommodate both rolls. Sear the rolls, turning them to brown evenly. Pour off any excess fat. Add the strained stock, lower the heat, and simmer the rolls, uncovered, for 15–20 minutes. Turn the chicken several times to ensure even cooking. Test for doneness by inserting a sharp skewer into the chicken and through the vegetables. If the skewer is easily removed and the juices are clear, the roll is cooked. If you meet with much resistance or the juices are tinged with pink, cook for an additional 4–5 minutes.
Remove the rolls from the Dutch oven and cut away the trussing strings. Season the stock with the soy sauce and syrupy rice wine, and keep simmering. Mix the cornstarch with the cold water to make a smooth paste. Add this to the stock and bring to a boil, stirring to thicken. Replace the chicken rolls and shake the pot to glaze the meat. Remove the rolls; slice each into four to six circles. Serve two or three slices per person with the cut edge up. Spoon extra sauce over the slices, or serve it on the side if you wish.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.