Chef Jam Melchor, president of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement, shares his recipe of the stuffed chicken dish

Holiday Stuffed Chicken Galantina

December draws closer. What helps make the season bright, at least according to the Yuletide music staple “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” is a turkey and some mistletoe. In the Philippines, one of the most popular handa or holiday fare is the cold, stuffed chicken commonly known as the Chicken Galantina.

Among the prominent names in the Filipino culinary scene, Chef Jam Melchor is a huge fan of stuffed dishes from the meatloaf to relleno to embutido. After his participation as Philippine representative at the Le Tavole Accademiche in 2017 by the prestigious University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG)—Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche in Pollenzo, Italy, the international university released a book with recipes and experiences of all 78 international cuisiniers, including renowned Michelin chefs Massimo Bottura, Ferran Adria, Alice Waters, and Jamie Oliver. Chef Jam and his prized Chicken Galantina were featured in the cookbook.

For a better, brighter, more delectable Christmas, the president of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM), a nonprofit movement dedicated to the preservation of Filipino culinary heritage and gastronomy, Chef Jam gifts us with his recipe.

President of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM), Chef Jam Melchor

Preparing stuffed food takes patience, time, and effort. “When I learned how to cook, that’s when I realized [stuffed dishes were] hard to do, most especially relleno,” confesses the head of the Food Youth Network Philippines. “But cooking relleno is very rewarding. Most of all, ang sarap natin gumawa ng stuffed dishes here in the Philippines, especially the lolas in Pampanga [We cook delicious stuffed dishes in the Philippines, especially our elders in Pampanga],” the Kapampangan chef explains—no bias intended. “It has always been a part of our dining table during the holidays and fiestas because it is really a festive dish.” 

‘We cook delicious stuffed dishes in the Philippines, especially our elders in Pampanga. It has always been a part of our dining table during the holidays and fiestas because it is really a festive dish.’

Chef Jam finds prepping the Chicken Galantina to be tedious and time-consuming, mainly the deboning of the whole chicken. “I noticed that every time galantina or relleno is being served, people would finish or eat the filling more, rather than the chicken that binds it,” he says. “So, I made it into a terrine, so that the whole dish is an entire galantine. It’s a full experience.”

Terrine (meatloaf style)

Every Christmas or any special occasion Chef Jam makes sure to make both the Classic Whole and the Terrine (meatloaf style), which he has showcased several times in most of the local and international exhibitions he participates at in the Philippines.

Galantina di Pollo

Serves 4-6 persons


1 kg of boneless chicken thighs125g of cooked ham2 eggs16 quail eggs120 g of butter50 g of pickle relish50 g of edam cheese1 broccoliSalt and pepper


  1. Put the quail eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Cook for three or four minutes, then drain, with only the more tender ends.

2. Cut the chicken meat into large pieces and blend them in a blender. Add the ham and blend again, then transfer the mixture into a bowl. Add the butter, grated cheese, relish, chicken eggs, a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix by hand until everything is combined, then divide the dough into eight balls.

3. Roll out four of them on a sheet of transparent film. In the center, line up the quail eggs, alternating them with the broccoli florets. Cover with the remaining four portions of meat, then roll up with a plastic wrap. Close the ends and refrigerate for at least four hours.

4. Cook in a steamer for 50-60 minutes. Let it rest before uncovering. Quickly move the rolls in a pan, brown the outer surface, slice, and serve immediately.

For those who would like to experience the dish without the hassle of cooking, you can order the chicken galantina and/or the terrina style via GastroGrocer. Message 09174122210 or 09174122209 | email All orders need three days lead time.