While some saw lockdown as a roadblock, others – like Chef Charlie Jacobs – found an opportunity and started a small business. Gourmet galantines from Charlie’s Chicken Roll Factory aren’t only completely droolworthy … they’re sure to impress your dinner guests.
Most of us love entertaining but it can be such a hassle to pull together a meal that’s a crowd-pleaser, looks good and tastes delicious. Charlie Jacobs, the owner of Charlie’s Chicken Roll Factory, has dedicated his gourmet business to solving this problem for you, by making and delivering stuffed, deboned chicken galantines direct to your door.
Cooking has always been a passion for Charlie, but it only became his reality recently. ‘I took a leap and decided to enrol at Prue Leith Culinary Institute in 2018. One day, Chef Alida demonstrated how to debone a whole chicken and produce the French chicken galantine. In December 2019, I made a chicken galantine for my family over Christmas. I looked at my partner and proposed my idea to make chicken galantines with different fillings … because who has the time, the patience and the knife skills to debone a chicken at home? Then Covid-19 happened. I created a website and Facebook page and launched on the 26th of May 2020. I woke up the next morning with six online orders. And the rest is history.’
Charlie even received recognition from the Prue Leith Institute. ‘I received an entrepreneur award for starting a business during lockdown. It came as a huge surprise and I felt honoured that Charlie’s Chicken Roll Factory was recognised by the institute.’ It has also become a true family affair. ‘About a month after going live, my little brother Louis got retrenched from his job due to Covid, so he started assisting me and is now my assistant in the kitchen.’
If you want to try your hand at deboning a whole chicken … we wouldn’t recommend it. Charlie talked us through the entire process and it sounds impossible. It is so much easier to order one of his chicken rolls online, leaving you with the much easier task of thawing it overnight in the fridge, rubbing it with oil, salt and pepper and then popping it into the oven or Weber for 45 minutes at 180°C. Then all you do is let it rest for 10 minutes and slice it 3cm thick.
Charlie delivers every Friday in Gauteng and delivery costs a mere R15. Your pre-ordered rolls are delivered frozen and pre-packed in an oven-ready foil container, wrapped in a branded label with complete cooking instructions. Keep an eye on his social media for side dish recipes to accompany his filling combinations! His advice is to keep it simple and let the chicken be the star of the meal. ‘Do not discard the juices left in the foil container after cooking your chicken. Pour it over your sides and chicken slices.’
Roasted beetroot salad with orange vinaigrette
Charlie shared his recipe for a great side dish that pairs perfectly with his chicken roll stuffed with blue cheese, caramelised onion and bacon.
Ingredients: 3 medium (440–550g) fresh beets; 3 Tbsp (45ml) olive oil; 1 tsp grated orange zest; 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar; 2 tsp honey; 200ml fresh orange juice; 1 tsp Dijon mustard; ½ tsp salt; ¼ tsp black pepper; 200g fresh baby spinach;
2 medium oranges (sectioned and peeled) – these you can buy ready at Woolies; 100g Danish feta or goat’s cheese; 125g chopped walnuts – toasted or fresh
Method: Preheat oven to 180°C. Rinse and scrub your fresh beets well. Cut into wedges. Place them on a baking tray with salt and pepper. Don’t be shy with the salt as it will bring out the sweetness of the beets. Bake for about 45–60 minutes until tender, not too soft. In a bowl, mix and whisk the orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, until blended. In a separate large bowl, combine spinach drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Transfer to a platter, top with orange sections and beets and sprinkle with cheese and walnuts. Serve immediately.
Because life is too short to have bland chicken
We tried our hand at cooking one of Charlie’s chicken galantines … and absolutely loved the blue cheese, caramelised onion and bacon filling. It was so easy to make, especially since it was already in the baking tray. After tucking some more fresh rosemary into the trussing and coating it with olive oil, salt and pepper, it was popped in the oven. After cooking and resting time, it sliced beautifully. The cooking suggestions were totally spot on – the chicken was perfectly cooked through and the skin was golden and crispy. The meat was tender and moist, and the centre held ample filling. The flavour combination complemented the chicken beautifully. We were concerned that it would need gravy but it wasn’t necessary! The scrumptious juices from the baking pan were more than enough to drizzle over the sliced servings. Each galantine would comfortably feed a family of four, with sides. We are about to become repeat customers!
With 14 different filling options to try, it’s no surprise Charlie’s gourmet deboned and stuffed rolled chickens are a big hit. Pictured here is the chicken roll stuffed with Turkish apricot, Danish feta, walnuts and honey. Mmm!
Text: Tayla Blaire