I blame Lorraine Kelly. I wasn’t planning to do anything for Burns Night. I have a big report to type up for my husband and promised him I’d crack on with it today. Then Lorraine scuppers my plans by inviting Richard Phillips to show me his cock-a-leekie this morning. Well, what’s a girl to do after being encouraged in such a manner. As usual I didn’t have all the ingredients; most importantly the cock bit was missing, aka chicken thighs.
A quick dash to Tesco and I returned with required ingredients (including the leekie as I didn’t have that either). I settled down to work and then thought, wouldn’t it be a nice surprise for my Scottish hubby if I were to go the whole hog and have some haggis too? Throughout the year we often have chicken stuffed with haggis. This seems to be called either Jacobean Chicken or Balmoral Chicken and, to be honest, is Dougie’s own signature dish so I don’t know why I’m attempting it….but I did have the chicken.
I didn’t, however, have the haggis. I rang our butcher and asked if they had any. I was told yes they had some in the freezer. I asked them to get one out of the freezer to give me a head start and I’d come and get it. You’d have thought they would have defrosted a few for Burns Night but, hey, this is Lincolnshire so maybe they haven’t much call for it.
As I still have a whole pile of work to do (writing this post is just another example of procrastination) I’m giving the traditional pudding a miss. It really should be Cranachan, a mixture of cream, oats and raspberries, but I have a couple of Gu puds in the fridge and some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the freezer for Rory. In case The Bard is turning in his grave, I’ll appease him with a couple of Whisky Macs (whisky and green ginger wine) before bedtime.
Here’s my recipe for haggis-stuffed chicken if you fancy giving it a try
1 small onion
1 tbsp whisky
1 x 454g haggis, crumbled
6 skinless chicken breasts
6 rashers streaky bacon (I tend to use more)
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees/gas mark 6
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in pan, cook onion 5 mins
Pour in whisky, leave to cool for 10 mins
Stir in haggis
Make a pocket in the chicken, stuff with haggis and fold back together
Stretch bacon and wrap one piece round centre of each chicken breast (or use more strips to cover whole breast)
Seal chicken in frying pan in batches
Transfer to baking tray and cook for 20-25 minutes
Serve with mash or traditional clapshot (potatoes and turnip/swede) and gravy.
PS – One of the comments below mentioned this little Scottish greeting which she wasn’t sure was real. Here’s the Robert Burns poem, Cock Up Your Beaver!
When first my brave Johnie lad came to this town,
He had a blue bonnet that wanted the crown
But now he has gotten a hat and a feather,
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!
Cock up your beaver, and cock it fu’ sprush
We’ll over the border and gie them a brush;
There’s somebody there we’ll teach better behaviour
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver.