Sunday, January 26, 2014

honey I whisky-ed the haggis

It was Burns Night again last night, so I concocted another haggis-based recipe. Why not just go for the traditional haggis, bashed neeps and clampit tatties, you might ask. Well, because it's deadly dull and bland, is why, plus none of it has any texture. Everything being squishy and amorphous so you can just spoon it in is great when you're eight months old, but as an adult I demand more interesting textures in my food, maybe even something that requires me to chew occasionally. I can do that, I have teeth, so let's push the envelope and use them a bit.

The haggis-stuffed-into-some-poultry theme from three years back is a good one, but that last dish suffered from being a bit dry (a problem it shares with the classic neeps and tatties version), so here's my solution to that problem: haggis-stuffed chicken in whisky sauce.

So basically you mash up the haggis - there's 60g or so per breast here, basically one double-pack of these MacSween's haggis slices, which seemed to be all there was available anywhere - with some whisky, slice open a couple of chicken breasts, stuff them, stick them in a baking dish with the cut edge facing upwards to stop everything falling out, pour the sauce over, and bake for about 40-45 minutes. The sauce went a little something like this:
  • most of a decent-sized glass of whisky* - use some of the rest to wet the haggis with before you mash it up, and drink the rest;
  • a small amount of vegetable stock;
  • a dessertspoon or so of Dijon mustard;
  • a couple of dessertspoons of honey - any sort will do, but I suppose if you wanted to be fanatically Scottish you'd use one of the heather-based ones;
  • a splash of lemon juice;
  • a dessertspoon or so of Philly cheese, or a dollop of cream, whichever fits best with your diet regime - note that this is best stirred in at the end.
Once the chicken is cooked, take it out and leave it for 5 minutes while you stir your creamifying agent of choice into the sauce, then slice up the chicken, arrange as artfully as you like on a plate, add some roasty potato wedges and some green veg, bish bosh, sorted. And very nice too.

You'll notice from the "after" photograph that we cooked some asparagus; just to provide a statistical data point for anyone who's interested I am in the (according to Wikipedia) 78% of the human population who don't notice their piss smelling of asparagus after eating it. My piss pretty much still just smells of piss.

[* - my secret whisky blend for this dish is as follows: one part Teacher's to two parts old-school Ledaig. No particular reason except that I only had a thimbleful of Teacher's left, so I needed to supplement it, and I thought something smoky might be more interesting.]

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