Fruited Galantine with Pigeon Breast

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves about


Appears in

Cooking for Christmas

Cooking for Christmas

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1978

  • About

This galantine is simple to make and looks very pretty when cut in slices because the centre, encased within layers of bacon and chicken breast, is so unusual. It is a mixture of whole turkey livers and strips of pigeon breast, dotted with prunes and cashew nuts. The galatine is useful for any of those cold meals over Christmas, and a neat slice put on a plate, with a surround of salad leaves and a little cranberry sauce, makes a good first course.


  • 1 wood pigeon
  • 8 oz (250 g) turkey livers
  • 2 oz (50 g) unsalted cashew nuts
  • 2 oz (50 g) soft pitted prunes, chopped roughly
  • 2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoon) chopped tarragon
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 skinned chicken breast fillets, weighing 8-10 oz (250-300 g) in total
  • oil for greasing
  • 10 oz (300 g) rindless smoked black bacon rashers
  • sea salt, black pepper


Using a sharp knife and keeping close to the bone, cut the breasts off the pigeon (keep the carcass for making stock). Skin the breasts and cut them into thin strips. Put these into a bowl with the whole turkey livers. Mix in the cashew nuts and the chopped prunes and tarragon. Peel and slice the garlic and add to the mixture. Season with plenty of black pepper and a sprinkling of sea salt. Put the chicken breast fillets between two sheets of polythene or oiled greaseproof paper and bash them with a rolling pin until they are thin and spread out. Oil a 1 lb (500 g) loaf tin and line the sides and base with all but two or three of the bacon rashers. Then line the tin once more with the thin pieces of chicken breast, reserving some, with the bacon rashers, for the top. Now spoon the liver and pigeon mixture into the tin and top it up with the remaining pieces of chicken breast, followed by the reserved rashers of bacon. Cover with foil. Put a roasting pan half-full of water in the centre of the oven and heat to Gas Mark 3/325°F/170°C. Put the tin in water for 2 hours.

Lift the foil, pour off the juices into a bowl and strain and reserve them in the fridge. Cover the galatine again with foil and then put a board on top and weigh it down with weights or books. Leave until cold. Dip the tin briefly in hot water and then shake out the galatine on to a board. To keep it in the fridge wrap it in cling film. Before serving, put the galatine on to a serving plate, melt the juices and brush them over. Refrigerate until needed.