Sunday, 1 January 2012

Highland Chicken

Although English by birth (Bolton to be precise), I consider myself to be 50/50 Scottish and Welsh by parentage.  A partridge hatched in a pear tree is still a partridge and not a pear.  I'll accept British, even European but never English.

Part of my proud heritage* is haggis.  I probably ate haggis long before I knew the grizzly truth behind the contents of a good beastie.  The same can be said for black pudding.  This is probably why I'm not in the slightest bit squeamish when it comes to offal and nose to tail eating.  If it tastes good, eat it (and if you are willing to eat a killed animal eat all of it).

The traditional haggis meal, cooked and served with neeps** and tatties, is only one way of dealing with a sheep's stomach filled with its lung, liver, heart and barley.  It is a fantastic ingredient.  Anywhere you serve black pudding you could easily substitute haggis.

I first had Highland Chicken at the Cramond Inn, Edinburgh, and have cooked it plenty of times since.  Chicken, I use boned thighs, is stuffed with haggis and wrapped in bacon.  The parcel is browned in a pan and then roasted until the chicken is cooked.  Serve with neeps and tatties if you like.  A whisky sauce also goes down well.

*Along with being rubbish at football.
**For the record, neeps are the vegetable that the Scots call turnip and the English call swede.  Swede is an abbreviated form of Swedish Turnip.  Both are correct, lets leave it there.

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