Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.
Inside-Out Balmoral Chicken
Balmoral chicken is a classic Scottish dish, consisting of chicken breast stuffed with haggis, wrapped and cooked in bacon. It is traditionally served with clapshot (mashed potato and swede turnip/rutabaga with chives) and a whisky cream sauce.
The recipe I am showing you here is called inside-out Balmoral chicken. Instead of the classic version, in which chicken is stuffed with haggis, this recipe sees haggis stuffed with chicken, encased in puff pastry as well as the bacon in the form of a pasty. The prepared clapshot is of the traditional variety but whisky sauce can be perceived as a waste of good whisky, so the cream sauce is instead enhanced with cracked black peppercorns.
As for the whisky? Try serving it in a glass immediately before and/or after your meal to much better effect...
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 10 min
- 1 chicken breast fillet, horizontally halved (use only upper half in this recipe)
- 3 ounces haggis meat
- 4 rashers/slices of bacon
- 8 ounces puff pastry
- 1 large baking potato
- 1 small swede turnip or rutabaga
- 6 fluid ounces double (heavy) cream
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped chives
- Butter, for clapshot and for greasing baking tray
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten, for glaze
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Photo Guide for Step 1
Step 1: Make the Pasty
Cooking tip: It will become obvious why shortly, but it is a good idea to use a plate for assembling the pasty filling exactly the same as you will use as a template for cutting the pastry. This is because you can shape the filling to the serving part of the plate, knowing you will have the right border left around the edge when you add it to the pastry.
- Put your oven on to preheat to 400°F / 200°C.
- Lay the bacon rashers side by side, slightly overlapping on a plate.
- Take about half the haggis and shape it with your hands to about the size of the chicken breast fillet.
- Lay the chicken fillet on the haggis and top in similar fashion with the remainder of the haggis.
- Fold the bacon over and around the haggis and chicken.
- Roll the pastry out on a floured surface large enough to cut a circle from it with a 13-inch plate.
- It now becomes obvious why a similar-sized plate was used when assembling the filling. You should be able to sit the filling on half the pastry with a perfect border of around 1 inch remaining all around.
- Glaze the border of the filled half of the pastry with beaten egg. Fold the pastry over and crimp.
- Grease a baking tray with butter and lay it on the pastry. Glaze with more beaten egg and cut a steam vent in the centre with a very sharp knife. Be sure to cut through the bacon and into the haggis.
- Bake for around 35 minutes until the pastry is beautifully golden.
Photo Guide for Step 2
Step 2: Finish the Pasty, Prepare the Clapshot and Sauce
- The potato and turnip/rutabaga should be peeled, roughly chopped and added to a large pot of cold, salted water. When the pasty has been in the oven for 15 minutes, bring the water to a boil and simmer for about 25 minutes until soft.
- Remove the pasty from the oven and carefully lay it on a wire rack with a spatula to rest for about 15 minutes.
- Drain the potato and turnip and return to the empty pot to steam for a few minutes and dry out. Add a little butter and some pepper and mash with a hand masher. Add the chopped chives and stir them through with a spoon.
- While the potato and turnip is steaming, crack the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Pour the cream in to a small saucepan and add the cracked pepper and Dijon mustard. Put on a low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the sauce just starts to simmer. Remove from heat.
Photo Guide for Step 3
Step 3: Plate Your Meal
- Divide the clapshot between the two serving plates.
- Spoon the sauce carefully around the clapshot.
- Cut the pasty in half and carefully place half on top of each portion of clapshot.
- Garnish with more chives if required and serve immediately.
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© 2012 Gordon Hamilton